Did Donald Trump really call Republican voters 'the dumbest in the country' in a 1998 interview?

Harriet Marsden@harriet1marsden
Wednesday 09 November 2016 10:00

You may remember when this (now demonstably ominous) Donald Trump quote meme did the rounds of the internet in 2015.

Picture:(Screenshot / Twitter (asouthi))

Since news of his victory broke on Tuesday night, it's been shared thousands of times again on social media.

The picture supposedly refers to an interview with People magazine in 1998, in which he told the interviewer that if he were to run as president, he'd run as a Republican because "they're the dumbest group of voters in the country".

They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they'd still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.

The quote seemed plausible, mainly due to the man's penchant for overt offensiveness and flagrant lack of political consistency.

Nevertheless, the quote has been roundly debunked.

Not only is there no evidence of a political profile or interview with Donald Trump in People's online archives, or any evidence of these words whatsoever.

Furthermore, that reference to Fox News, while chronologically possible, seems out of place given that the network wasn't as popular until the 2000 election of George W Bush, and then the 9/11 attacks.

However, Trump did appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1988 and ended up discussing the possibility of a run for president.

And this foreboding fortuneteller of a quote is verified:

I think I'd win. I'll tell you what: I wouldn't go in to lose.

More: This Barack Obama quote about Donald Trump is now more terrifying than ever

More: Here's a map of all the countries Donald Trump has offended

More: Donald Trump's campaign website 'hacked' by little poop emoji