If you want to get an unfiltered glimpse inside the real Donald Trump, there’s no one better to turn to than Howard Stern.
The legendary shock jock has traveled in the same celebrity orbit as the business mogul turned reality-show star turned president for decades, and has had Trump on his show numerous times (Trump was even at Stern’s wedding to Beth Ostrosky).
So in the last week, where polls show that Trump’s approval rating is historically low, you have to wonder how he’s taking it all. Stern has some thoughts, and it sounds like he thinks Trump cares quite a bit about his public perception.
“I know something about Donald Trump,” Stern said on his radio show recently.
“He really does want to be loved, he does want people to really love him, that drives him a lot. I think he has a very sensitive ego. And when you’re president of the United States people are going to be very, very critica,l and I think in his mind right now he’s saying ‘I want to protect the country’… I think his motive is ‘People will love me because I’m going to keep terrorists out of the country.’ I think he’s genuinely shocked when people come back and say, ‘Wait a second, there’s more to this.'”
Stern went on to say that he and Trump talked a lot over the phone when Trump announced his presidency, and, along with Stern telling him he was a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, he tried to talk Trump out of running.
“I said, why would you want to be the president of the United States – you’re not going to be beloved,” Stern said. “It’s going to be a f—ing nightmare in your life.”
Stern – who still considers Trump a friend, though Stern voted for Clinton – said he was surprised at the political views President Trump has taken.
“I don’t believe that he’s had some rethink on abortion – he’s playing to his constituency, which is this religious right,” Stern added.
And when it comes to the press and Hollywood being critical of Trump, Stern believes that’s the deepest wound of all.
“He loves the press, he lives for it,” said Stern. “He loves people in Hollywood. He only wants to hobnob with them.”
Stern’s theory is that Trump’s whole run for presidency was just a negotiation maneuver to get more money out of NBC while he and the network were discussing a new season of “The Apprentice.”
Now that Trump is president, Stern is concerned about the health of his friend.
“This is something that’s going to be detrimental to his mental health because he wants to be liked, he wants to be loved, he wants people to cheer for him,” he said.
“There are people who are better suited for this kind of thing,” Stern said of the presidency, “and he didn’t need this in his life.”
Listen to Stern’s thoughts on Trump as president below: