President Trump claimed this week that he had never used the word “retarded” to describe Attorney General Jeff Sessions — or anyone else — in an attempt to rebut one of the details included in the forthcoming Bob Woodward book that paints a harrowing portrait of his presidency.
Since then, video and transcripts have surfaced proving the president wrong.
Trump’s claim about Sessions came in a Tuesday tweet, in which he wrote: “The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions ‘mentally retarded’ and ‘a dumb southerner.’ I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!”
Trump, in fact, used the term “mentally retarded” during a 2004 appearance on “The Howard Stern Show” when discussing a conversation he had with an unnamed “golf pro” about how much he should make for hosting his NBC reality series, “The Apprentice.”
According to a clip from the show, Trump made a comparison between his salary and those of the cast of the popular NBC comedy series “Friends.”
“I have a golf pro who’s mentally retarded,” Trump told Stern. “I mean he’s really not a smart guy. And I’m playing golf, and I’m thinking about what I’m going to tell NBC, and this golf pro comes up to me and tells me, ‘Yeah, but your show is an hour, and Friends is a half-hour.’ ”
In another 2004 interview with Stern, Trump used the term “retarded” to describe a reporter who questioned his business skills, according to a video clip.
“I know I was criticized in one magazine where the writer was retarded,” Trump told Stern. “He said, ‘Donald Trump put up $7 million, they put up $193 million, and they are 50/50 partners. Why isn’t Donald Trump putting up more money?’ And you know it is supposed to be because I am smart.”
During October 2016, Trump was also accused of having used the term “retarded” to describe actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf and appeared on a season of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
The Daily Beast, citing three unnamed longtime staffers on the show, reported that Trump had a habit of insulting, mimicking and demeaning Matlin as mentally disabled.