(CNN) – Newly released audio is revealing insight into Donald Trump’s thought processes, as well as his first wife, Ivana.
The audio is from extensive interviews that journalist Michael D’Antonio did with Trump two years ago.
It’s a Donald Trump we don’t often see. Not campaigning, but instead contemplative. Like when he talks about how he won’t accept losing. “You can be tough and ruthless and all that stuff and if you lose a lot, nobody’s going to follow you because you’re looked at as a loser. Winning is a very important thing. The most important aspect of leadership is winning. If you have a record of winning, people are going to follow you.”
As we’ve seen this election, this is a leader who enjoys a fight. The tapes reveal that willingness to fight began as a child.
(Interviewer 1) “In eighth grade?”
(Donald Trump) “I loved to fight. I always loved to fight.”
(Interviewer 1) “Physical fights?”
(Donald Trump) “Yeah, all kinds of fights, physical.”
(Interviewer 1) “Arguments?”
(Donald Trump) “All types of fights. Any kind of fight, I loved it, including physical.”
Ex-wife Ivana Trump also sat down for a rare interview. Ivana explained how six months into their relationship, she saw how Trump reacted when she out-skied him.
(Ivana Trump) “And then ski instructor, I told him, don’t tell Donald that I can ski, okay? Because his ego, it’s so big. He’s not able going to ski. I went up. I went two flips up in the air, two flips in front of him. I disappeared. Donald was so angry, he took off his skis, his ski boots, and walked up to the restaurant.”
(Interviewer 1) “So he left you?”
(Ivana Trump) “Yeah.”
(Interviewer 2) “Wow.”
(Ivana Trump) “He could not take it. He could not take it. He went foot bare up to the restaurant, and said, I’m not going to do this (bleep) for anybody including Ivana.”
(Interviewer 1) “Oh, jeez.”
(Ivana Trump) “He could not take it, that I could do something better than he did.”
For Trump, everything is a competition, especially business.
He says, “I never had a failure, because I always turned a failure into a success.”
The theme weaves through his interviews, refusal to acknowledge any business failures.
(Donald Trump) “I bought something and I throw it into a bankruptcy. I made an unbelievable deal. It wiped out a lot of the debt. Came back and the next day I read the story, “Trump files bankruptcy.” I get all of these people that don’t understand business saying, “Did you go bankrupt?” Do you understand that?”
(Interviewer) “You talk about this a lot.”
(Donald Trump) “I do. I always do because I’ll tell you why I do. What always bothers me is false stuff. Untruths. That bothers me.”
But what doesn’t bother him…fame. Trump admits he needs it.
(Donald Trump) “It’s happened from, from the time I was really young.”
(Interviewer) “Did it unnerve you at first or feel unsafe ever?”
(Donald Trump) “No. I think what would unnerve me is if it didn’t happen.”
Trump says he doesn’t see much need for reflection… But takes a moment to talk about marriage.
(Interviewer) “When you think about balancing your ambition and your relationships with people you love, what’s changed over the years?”
(Donald Trump) “Well, it’s very hard for somebody to be married to me.”
Ex-wife Ivana, in her interview, says what ended theirs, after three children with him, was Trump’s affair with Marla Maples.
(Ivana Trump) “She’s a stupid girl. She doesn’t have a brains. I have no idea what Donald was doing with her. But she broke our marriage because immediately when I found out about his affair, I filed for divorce.”
(Interviewer) “This is it?”
(Ivana Trump) “I was the one, yeah. Because if you cannot trust your spouse, then it’s over.”
Trump upended the presidential election with much more than fiery rhetoric. The interviews show he did it with a singular, unyielding belief in himself.
Trump says, “The most important thing is being able to have the proper vision and then never quitting. A lot of people say you can never give up. Well, you can give up if you have a stupid vision. So I always say vision is the most important thing. You need the proper vision and then you have to have the ability to get it done.”
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