On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Tapper played an old clip of Donald Trump on the “Tonight Show” from 1999, when Jay Leno was still hosting.
The clip included Trump telling Leno that Clinton “should never have answered” the question about whether he had an affair with the former White House intern.
Trump also criticized Clinton’s lawyers for not protecting him from having to answer questions:
“Well, he could have come clean ― and you gave me that answer just before the show so I’m very happy, thank you, Or he should have never answered the question. His lawyers could have fought a little bit harder.”
Previously, Tapper indicated that Trump would not testify in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump campaign collusion “if he takes advice from his former self.” Immediately playing the clip, however, the news anchor appeared to struggle to find the words to respond. “I mean, wow. Wow,” said Tapper, adding: “I mean, I wish we could have like a Back to the Future type thing where 2018 Donald Trump goes back or 1999 Donald Trump goes forward.”
This certainly isn’t the first time Donald Trump has taken a strong public position on a subject, only to have demonstrably different positions unearthed from previous interviews and features. Then, of course, there is Trump’s Twitter feed — a veritable treasure trove of archived bits of the president’s opinions, which have proven invaluable to the media on a number of occasion when Trump massively pivots from a prior position to his own benefit.