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Donald Trump in 1994: I tell my friends to "be rougher" with their wives

ABC News

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump once told an interviewer that he advises his friends to "be rougher" with their wives, and that he sometimes goes "through the roof" when he comes home and dinner isn't ready.

"Psychologists will tell you that some women want to be treated with respect," Trump told Nancy Collins in a previously unreleased 1994 transcript from ABC’s Primetime Live. "I tell friends who treat their wives magnificently, get treated like crap in return, 'Be rougher and you’ll see a different relationship.'"

Trump said a lot of other disgusting things about women in that 1994 interview. But some are more troubling than others in light of the many accusations of sexual assault against him — including one from his ex-wife Ivana.

Trump told Collins he had mixed feelings about his second wife, Marla Maples, an actress and television personality, working outside the home.

"I have days where I think it's great," Trump said. "And then I have days where, if I come home — and I don't want to sound too much like a chauvinist — but when I come home and dinner's not ready, I go through the roof."

This comment makes it sound like Trump wants to "Make America Great Again" by going back to the 1950s, which is bad enough. It's also, however, a chilling nod to his allegedly fierce temper. In 1992, Trump's first wife, Ivana, alleged that Trump violently raped her during their marriage. She's since walked back that allegation but has never actually denied the horrifying events she described in a deposition during their divorce.

In the ABC News interview, Trump also talked about the problems he had with Ivana working outside the home — specifically as a powerful executive whom he also employed.

"I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing," Trump said. "If you're in business for yourself, I really think it's a bad idea to put your wife working for you."

He said the greatest strain on his relationship with Ivana was hiring her to manage his Atlantic City casino. But the reasons he cited for the strain were pretty telling. He talked about how much it bothered him to hear Ivana "shouting" at someone on the telephone.

"I'd say, 'I don't want my wife shouting at somebody like that, I really don’t want that,'" Trump said. "And a softness disappeared. There was a great softness to Ivana, and she still has that softness. But during this period of time, she became an executive, not a wife."

To Trump, it seems, there was an irreconcilable difference between being an "executive" and being a "wife." It also calls to mind the dismissive comments he's made about the "shouting" of Hillary Clinton — a woman, and a wife, who is running against Trump to be the country's chief executive.

The whole 11-minute ABC interview is a revealing exploration of Trump's attitudes about women at the time, and of his tendency to literally see them as a commodity.

At one point, he compared both Ivana and Marla to one of his buildings.

"I love creating stars. And to a certain extent, I've done that with Ivana. To a certain extent, I've done that with Marla. And I like that," Trump said. "Unfortunately, after they're a star, the fun is over for me. It's like a creation process. It's almost like creating a building; it's pretty sad."

The interview also begins with a discussion of Trump's prenuptial agreement with Marla, whom he married in 1993, and how he negotiated her down from the $25 million she had reportedly asked for to just $1 million.

Isn't that a little "cheap," Collins asked?

"I think a million dollars is a lot of money," Trump said.

"No, you don't," Collins immediately challenged.

"No, I don't, actually," Trump admitted. "I guess I look at everything like a deal. It's just one of those things."


Watch: Trump is not a bully, he's a classic abuser