Former President Donald Trump might currently be the Clintons’ most high-profile political foil, but that wasn’t always the case, he told Fox News.
Trump told “Life, Liberty & Levin” he used to have a cordial relationship with the 42nd president and his wife, so much so as to frequently exchange letters with Clinton.
“They came to my wedding,” Trump quipped, as Bill and Hillary were guests of his 2005 wedding to the former Melania Knauss. Other guests included left-wing pundit Chris Matthews and a slew of famous New Yorkers including Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, former Republican Gov. George Pataki and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Bill Clinton used to play regularly at Trump National Golf Club Westchester, he added.
“He loved that course. He was there a lot. He just loved it. He loves playing golf, and he was… better [at golf] than people think… He’s got a certain athleticism, actually.”
Trump recalled playing rounds of golf with Bill Clinton, and later retiring to the clubhouse where the 42nd president would spend as many as two-and-a-half hours waxing about politics.
“This is before I even thought in terms of politics for myself,” he said.
In that regard, Trump said Bill Clinton’s retail politician persona and political acumen presented a major missed opportunity for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential loss post-mortem.
“I think they did a great disservice by not using him when I went against Hillary. I think that they had this unbelievable weapon known as Bill Clinton, who was a natural politician,” he said.
Trump recounted how Hillary Clinton declined to visit Wisconsin during the 2016 race, purportedly considering it in-the-bag for her column — and not visiting Michigan one final time before election day.
He claimed Bill Clinton had made reference to being in Michigan and seeing a prevalence of Trump-Pence signage “all over the place,” adding he purportedly warned his wife’s campaign they needed to take notice there and in the Badger State for similar reasons.
“They said, ‘No, no, no, the polls indicate that he can’t win Wisconsin,’ and I ended up winning Michigan and Wisconsin.”
Trump also posited that the former Arkansas governor’s noticeable absence from the trail proved the campaign truly stepped in it by failing to use such a popular American figure.
“[President Clinton] was a weapon that they decided not to use. They actually did the opposite. They shut him out. They shut him out, and I think that was a mistake.”
Bill Clinton did appear at a handful of campaign and related functions, most notably a general election town hall between Hillary Clinton and Trump, when Trump invited Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey — all of whom had previously accused Hillary’s husband of sexual misconduct — as special guests.
He also made appearances with Hillary on the 2008 presidential campaign trail, remarking during an early rally in Iowa he would “be here tonight, if she asked me, if we weren’t married.”