We May Have Bill Clinton to Thank for Donald Trump’s Presidential Run

ZUMA/Ricky Fitchett

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


As Americans eagerly await the circus that will be tomorrow’s first Republican presidential debate—excitement almost entirely generated by the presence of front-runner Donald Trump—a new report offers a surprising connection that led the real estate mogul to throw his hat in the ring: Bill Clinton.

The Washington Post reports Clinton and Trump had a private phone call shortly before the GOP’s newest star officially announced his candidacy. During the call, the former president—and spouse of the likely Democratic nominee—stopped short of outright pushing him to run for president. Instead, Clinton reportedly prodded Trump to seek a “larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.”

Clearly flattered by the words of his favorite president ever, Trump got the hint, entered the race. The rest is viral history. Clinton’s office confirmed the phone call.

Despite the recent exchange over Trump’s controversial “rapist” characterization of Mexican immigrants—Hillary said she was “very disappointed” by the comments; Trump fired back, calling her the “worst Secretary of State” in history—the new report highlights the unusual friendship shared between the Clintons and Trump.

Back in 2012, Clinton noted that Trump has been “uncommonly nice” to him and Hillary. “We’re all New Yorkers,” Clinton said. “I like him. And I love playing golf with him.”

 With that kind of praise, Clinton has clearly been playing the long game.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate