Former President Bill Clinton reportedly “casually encouraged” Donald Trump to run for the White House just months before he launched his presidential campaign, according to a New York Times reporter’s tell-all memoir.
In her new book, author Amy Chozick claims Clinton spoke with Trump about a potential presidential bid less than a year before the campaign began; discussing the issue over a round of golf at Trump National Golf Course.
“Less than a year before the campaign started, Bill and Trump golfed together at Trump National. Bill casually encouraged Trump to run, thinking his candidacy would roil the Republican field,” Chozick wrote.
“For all his political foresight, Bill spent most of the primaries oblivious that this reality TV schmo could win the Republican nomination,” she adds.
“Bill saw genius in Trump’s economic populism and understood he was the perfect candidate for what Clinton called the ‘Instagram election’ – an era when voters wanted only bite-sized solutions,” Chozick wrote. “Hillary didn’t do bite-size.”
This follows a Washington Post report in 2015 that described a phone conversation that spring in which Clinton reportedly encouraged Trump’s active role in the GOP. The new book’s account further suggests that Bill Clinton may have unwittingly urged on the candidacy that shattered his wife’s second presidential bid.
Clinton apparently did not see Trump as a threat at first, but his view soon changed.
Chozick suggested Clinton “insisted” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., could “pull through,” but when Rubio dropped out of the race, Chozick wrote that the “reality set in.”