Newly resurfaced video from 1999 shows Trump’s first failed presidential bid was actually a dry run for 2016

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump and anchor Dan Rather.

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Real-estate mogul Donald Trump and anchor Dan Rather.
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J C/YouTube via CBS

  • A nearly 20-year-old video of a CBS interview between anchor Dan Rather and Donald Trump resurfaced on YouTube.
  • During the interview, Trump ridiculed Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Gov. George W. Bush of Texas.
  • “Does being captured make you a hero,” Trump asked, referring to McCain. “I don’t know, I’m not sure.”
  • Referring to Bush, Trump said he was “very, very saddened by the fact that he certainly doesn’t seem like Albert Einstein.”

New York City real-estate tycoon Donald Trump discussed his political ambitions and railed against Sen. John McCain and George W. Bush in a nearly 20-year-old video of a CBS interview with anchor Dan Rather.

“I am absolutely serious about conceivably running for the office of president,” Trump said to Rather on CBS’s “60 Minutes II” in 1999, which resurfaced on YouTube.

“And if run and I won, I think I’d be a really good president. I’d be prepared to spend $100 million on the race if necessary,” Trump said at the time.

During the interview, Trump touted his credentials and threw jabs at Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Gov. George W. Bush of Texas.

Trump downplayed McCain’s service and said the former naval aviator, who was held captive and tortured by North Vietnamese forces for over five years, “was captured.”

“And he flew combat missions [with distinction],” Rather replied.

“Does being captured make you a hero,” Trump asked. “I don’t know, I’m not sure.”

Years later, on the campaign trail ahead of the 2016 election, Trump would echo the same remarks and throw cold water on McCain’s credentials.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Referring to Bush in the 1999 interview, Trump said he was “very, very saddened by the fact that he certainly doesn’t seem like Albert Einstein.”

Asked if Bush would have been Texas’s governor if his father, President George H.W. Bush, had not been the commander-in-chief, Trump replied “no.”

“Hey, look. I know politicians,” Trump said. “I deal with them all the time at almost every level.”

“I know these folks well,” Trump added. “And some are dumber than a rock. And I know who they are. I know the smart ones, I know the not-so-smart ones, and I know that I can do a very good job.”

Rather also posed a question to former model Melania Trump, asking what Trump’s best qualities were.

“He’s a loyal man,” Melania said smiling.

Trump sought the presidential nomination from the Reform Party, a political party founded in 1995 by billionaire Ross Perot. He would later withdraw from the race and cited the Reform Party’s infighting as the driving factor.

Watch the CBS interview here: