NBC’s Chuck Todd revealed peculiar insights about Donald Trump which he observed while interviewing the president-elect 18 times.
In Politico’s podcast series Off Message, the Meet the Press host claimed Trump pays very close attention to the visuals of his interviews and even watches them on mute.
“The amount of times he spends after the interview is over with the sound off. He wants to see what it all looked like,” Todd said. “He will watch the whole thing on mute.”
“He thinks this way, and look, it’s an important insight in just understanding him. The visual stuff is very real beyond himself,” he said.
Trump is known as an avid consumer of cable news and after hundreds of media appearance and interviews over the years has carefully groomed his appearance.
Former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who reportedly unofficially advised Trump throughout his campaign, revealed in his 1989 book You Are The Message: Getting What You Want By Being Who You Are that selecting his on-air personalities involved watching them for about 10 minutes without sound.
“If there was nothing happening on screen in the way the host looked or moved that made me interested enough to stand up and turn the sound up, then I knew that the host was not a great television performer,” Ailes wrote. “If nothing moved me toward that knob, I would often recommend terminating the contract of that performer.”
Ailes served as a media consultant for former Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Todd said the one thing that annoys him about Trump is that the real estate mogul never laughs.
“Do you know what? I’ve never seen him laugh,” the NBC host said. “He’ll smile, but he smiles appropriately. Watch him at the Al Smith dinner [the roast in New York City in October]…He doesn’t really laugh. He looks for other to laugh. It is just weird.
Todd also opened up about how his father, who died at the age of 40 when he was in high school, was central to his life’s ambition and said Trump’s relationship with his father is key to understanding the president-elect’s personality.
“Look, he’s not the first president to have daddy issues,” Todd said. “There’s nothing like a parental issue to add a chip. My name is Chuck Todd and I have a chip on my shoulder about my dad. … Everybody has the chip. For Barack Obama, it was where is dad? For Bill Clinton, it was where is dad? For George W. Bush, it’s living up to dad. For George H.W. Bush, living up to dad. It’s fascinating and there’s something about — look, I think one of the undercovered aspects of Hillary Clinton is her relationship with her father was very, very troubling.”
Clinton rarely speaks about her father, Hugh Rodham, who reportedly was very strict and sometimes “excessively” spanked his children.
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