One frequent criticism of former Republican President Donald Trump is how easy he is to manipulate by appealing to his ego. Now one of Trump's longtime friends and supporters—Piers Morgan—is lending credence to that assessment.
While plugging his new TV show Piers Morgan Uncensored, Morgan shared a story about how he manipulated Trump into sitting down for an interview despite Morgan's previous well-publicized negative comments about the hypersensitive former world leader.
A promotional clip of the resulting interview is going viral for showing Trump in a less than favorable light.
According to Morgan, the interview almost didn't happen.
Trump was provided a three page cheat sheet of Morgan's harshest words that almost resulted in the interview being canceled.
In a piece for the UK tabloid The Sun, Morgan wrote a member of his production team showed him the list and said:
"This is a collection of quotes you’ve apparently said about President Trump in the past two years."
"Someone sent it to him in the last hour, and the quotes are not good. In fact, they’re really bad."
"These were by far the worst things I’d ever said about a man with whom I’d been friends for 15 years, but I felt they were justified when I said them, and I still do now."
In an attempt to rescue his "blockbuster exclusive to rocket-launch [his] new global TV show," Morgan met with Trump privately.
"He was staring at me across his desk with undisguised fury, clutching the document entitled ‘Piers Morgan Comments About President Trump'."
"What the f*ck is this‽"
He then read some of the quotes aloud to Morgan.
"Trump’s a supreme narcissist…"
"His pathetic antics in the past few weeks since losing the election in November have been utterly contemptible."
"Trump’s now too dangerous, he’s morphed into a monster that I no longer recognise as someone I considered to be a friend and thought I knew."
"He’s now acting like a mafia mob boss."
"And all because Donald’s stupendous ego couldn’t accept losing and sent him nuts."
Morgan claimed he told Trump the document was a one-sided hatchet job to try to sabotage their interview.
"It’s definitely a hatchet job, on me!"
The next Morgan quote Trump shared was:
"January 7, 2021, President Trump needs to be removed from office. As soon as possible… through new emergency articles of impeachment, which would have the additional benefit of barring him from ever running for the presidency again."
"Removed from office‽"
"Barred from ever running for President again‽"
Morgan said Trump, after throwing down the three page document, shouted:
"I thought we were friends? This is so disloyal!"
"After all I’ve done for you? Why would say all this about me?"
While trying to salvage the interview, Morgan decided to employ a little ego stroking to manipulate Trump into saying "yes."
Morgan told the former Republican President:
"I’d love to talk about your recent golf hole-in-one. Your playing partner Ernie Els was raving about it."
According to Morgan's description, Trump immediately transformed from impudent toddler to boastful child desperate for attention.
Morgan asked Trump:
"Was that your first hole-in-one?"
To which Trump made the dubious claim:
"No! I’ve had seven!"
After calling Trump's claim "highly implausible" followed by Morgan touting his own hole-in-one, the former Good Morning Britain host confirmed he had stroked Trump's ego enough to get him to grant the interview.
He wrote Trump said:
"OK, I guess I’ll still do the interview. I don’t know why, honestly, but I’ll see you down there."
Morgan's relaying of his manipulation of the former President was shared in exclusive articles in his boss Rupert Murdoch's tabloids The Sun and The New York Post. The articles promoted Morgan's newest TV job working for Murdoch on the conservative media mogul's Fox Nation network.
A clip from the aforementioned interview accompanied both articles and was shared online by Fox Nation where it spread across social media.
Trump originally committed to 20 minutes with Morgan, but the host said Trump gave him 75 minutes of "charm" and his signature "brash humor."
But things ended in a far more volatile fashion.
According to Morgan:
"But things took a dramatic downward turn when I finally brought up his refusal to accept defeat in 2020 and the appalling scenes on January 6."
"I told him I believe he lost the supposedly ‘rigged, stolen’ election, I repeatedly pointed out his failure to produce any evidence of the widespread voter fraud he insists occurred to rob him of his presidency, and I blamed his refusal to admit defeat for the deadly riots at the Capitol."
"Then you’re a fool! And you haven’t studied!"
Morgan—after comparing himself to Tom Cruise and Trump to Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men—claimed he was again able to manipulate Trump by mentioning they hadn't discussed his hole-in-one, but the reprieve was short-lived.
Trump abruptly stood up and yelled before storming out:
"Turn the cameras off!"
Morgan said his friend of 15 years was later heard calling him a "scumbag" wishing he’d canceled the interview.
While Morgan's retelling of the story is definitely skewed to show the host in his best light and titillate the public enough to tune in to his new TV show, people don't doubt Trump was easily manipulated and reacted poorly when confronted with the truth about his 2020 election loss.
Morgan, Trump and the GOP were all skewered by people on Twitter.
Morgan will probably have to get creative if he wants to interview Trump again.
Between now and then he'll need to find a new way to use Trump's fragile ego to manipulate his friend.