Trump Says He Mocked Women’s Looks to Be Entertaining

“A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment.”

Evan Vucci/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Donald Trump defended his habit of publicly ridiculing women’s looks, arguing that it has entertainment value. Trump, who made the comment during an interview with an NBC affiliate in Las Vegas before giving a speech there Wednesday evening, seemed to claim that as long as mocking women is funny, it’s a fine way to grab headlines and ramp up ratings.

“You have two beautiful daughters past their teenage years,” the reporter said. “Can you understand the concern from parents of younger girls that some of your comments could be hurtful to girls struggling with body image and the pressure to be model-perfect?” Trump responded, “A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment. There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do.”

Much of Trump’s public persona over the years has been shaped by his comments about women. He wanted to fire women from one of his golf courses because they weren’t hot enough. He made degrading comments about women in regular appearances on the shock jock Howard Stern’s show in the 1990s and 2000s and in public speeches where he boasted about hiring women for their looks. In last week’s presidential debate, his fat-shaming of Miss Universe Alicia Machado became a campaign issue.

But Trump’s claim that his comments about women over the years were just for entertainment is undermined by the fact that they weren’t limited to his public appearances. He didn’t just shame Machado in front of the cameras; he also allegedly called her “Miss Piggy” in private. He commented when female executives in the Trump organization gained weight. On the set of The Apprentice, he talked about the women contestants’ appearances when the cameras weren’t rolling. He once reportedly asked a Miss Universe whether she thought his then-16-year-old daughter, Ivanka, was hot. He passed the 1993 White House Correspondents Dinner talking to a model seated next to him about “the ‘tits’ and legs of the other female guests and asking how they measured up to those of other women, including his wife.”

Perhaps when Trump says “a lot of that was for entertainment,” he just means he personally found it entertaining.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend