ABC’s George Stephanopoulos recalled a 2016 incident with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that should have been the “biggest narrative in the world” for what would happen in the following years.
During an interview Wednesday on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Stephanopoulos revisited an interview he did with Trump in Colorado during the 2016 campaign.
“We started talking, and I asked him about ― remember that gold star mother, the Muslim woman whose son was killed ― and he attacked her,” he said. said. “And he just went after her. And I was, like, I guess the interview is over. He just finished his campaign.
“But we continued,” he said, “and I started asking him about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, to which he never gave a clear answer.”
“So I asked him about three or four times just, you know, just tell us what the relationship was. And I was just asking factual questions.
He said Trump ended the interview, walked out and called a producer.
“And I could hear the screams in the hallway,” Stephanopoulos said, recalling that Trump then sent his communications director, Hope Hicks, back to the interview room to “get me and walk me into the hallway.”
“And then he started yelling at me, over and over and over. Because I asked him about Vladimir Putin. What should have been the biggest tell in the world in 2016,” he said.
Trump’s behavior in this interview – lashing out at a reporter for asking questions he didn’t want to answer – was indicative of many future exchanges to come. Trump continued to berate, insult and undermine the press throughout his presidency, especially when asked tough questions.
Trump also continued to show deference to Putin and other dictators throughout his presidency and thereafter. Multiple investigations have revealed that Russia was working to help Trump’s campaign and hurt his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Several senior Trump aides have been convicted of crimes in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reported on the Stephanopoulos interview incident in her new book. According to his reports, Trump yelled profanities at ABC producer John Santucci, complaining that Stephanopoulos had asked for “eight fucking follow-ups” on Russia.
“It’s like asking me if I beat my wife,” Trump allegedly shouted. “You ask me once, I say ‘fuck no’ and we move on. You don’t ask me then if I hit her with a fucking baseball bat or a fucking golf club! That was bullshit and you better fix it in the edit.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.