After a slight scheduling glitch when musical guests The Weeknd and Belly canceled their performances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Wednesday because they didn’t want to share a show with Donald Trump, the host carried on with his remaining guest, playfully calling the presumptive Republican presidential nominee a “tangerine-tinted Godzilla” and asking Trump a series of questions about some issues that have cropped up since his last show appearance.
His Cinco de Mayo taco bowl picture at Trump Tower, why he once supported a Hillary Clinton presidency and whether that distinctly familiar voice on the end of those “spokesman” phone calls was actually a masquerading Trump.
“I don’t think you’re taking credit for this, and this is something I think is brilliant,” Kimmel told Trump midway through their interview, before referencing a Washington Post article published on May 13 that claimed Trump, in a 1991 interview with a People magazine reporter, pretended to be a media spokesman named John Miller so he could brag about himself undetected.
Kimmel said the voice sounded just like Trump.
“It didn’t sound like me, though, really,” Trump retorted. “You think that sounded like me? Cuz I don’t.”
They squabbled back and forth. Trump tried to deflect.
“Yeah, well, nobody sounds like themselves when they hear themselves,” Kimmel tossed back. “But to me, it sounded just like you.”
Trump wouldn’t concede, and he hasn’t since the story was published two weeks ago. The businessman has repeatedly denied the claim that he was the voice behind spokesman John Miller. When asked about it in a phone interview with Washington Post reporters after the original article appeared, the line went silent, then dead. When reporters called back, a secretary said Trump was no longer available.
But one alias he hasn’t denied — and one he admitted using to Kimmel — is John Barron.
“Over the years I’ve used alias, when I’m in real estate and especially when I was out in Brooklyn with my father and I would want to buy something,” Trump told Kimmel. “And honestly, nobody knew who Trump was at that time and nobody knew me so it wasn’t so much so important.”
A “John Baron,” a variation on the “Barron” spelling, was quoted as a “vice-president of the Trump organization” in a front-page New York Times article as early as 1980. In other national publications, Barron was quoted as a “Trump spokesman,” “Trump executive” or “Trump representative,” according to The Post article from May 13.
“I would never want to use my name because you had to pay more money for the land,” Trump told Kimmel.
On the show, Kimmel also asked Trump about comments he made regarding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before announcing his own bid for the White House; he previously called her terrific and said she would make an excellent president.
Since, he has nicknamed her Crooked Hillary.
“What did she do?” Kimmel asked.
“Let me just explain to you, I will tell you,” replied Trump, who has doled out memorable election season nicknames like Lyin’ Ted, Crazy Bernie, Little Marco and Low-Energy Jeb.
“I speak well of everybody,” Trump said. “If people ask me about politicians, I speak well. So when they asked me about Hillary, she’s wonderful, the husband, everybody’s wonderful. And that’s the way it is. Including contributions. They ask me for contributions, I give contributions.”
Trump tossed his hands up.
“So, you were full of s— when you said that?” the host retorted.
“Maybe,” he said. “Maybe.”
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