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Piers Morgan’s Trump interview failed to live up to expectations

PUBLISHED: 14:59 29 January 2018

US President Donald Trump.  Picture: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA WIRE

US President Donald Trump. Picture: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA WIRE

An encounter with potential turned into a love-in.

Plenty of people will have tuned into ITV’s much-anticipated interview of President Donald Trump by Piers Morgan with excitement last night, expecting to see the US leader put on the spot with difficult, insightful questions.

However, what they got was more of a back-slapping chat between two old friends, with very little new information coming to light.

Much of the initial interview time was taken up by the pair reminiscing about when they appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice together in 2008 and complimenting each other on their hair.

At last came the actual questions. For somebody who sells himself as a ‘tough’ interviewer, Morgan didn’t seem too keen on probing deep into Trump’s most controversial actions. He did create a number of opportunities to do so; for example, by asking about his attitude to women. Given the number of unsavoury reports that have emerged about Trump’s ‘grabbing’ of women, this was the perfect moment for Morgan to question him over the validity of these stories.

Instead the President announced that he has a lot of respect for strong women, but admitted that calling himself a feminist “would be going too far”. Despite the possibilities to probe further which that statement itself threw up, Morgan moved swiftly on to other subjects. All of which – global warming, immigration, gun control – were glossed over just as swiftly, with Morgan letting Trump get away with dodging questions. We did, however, discover that the President doesn’t know who Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn or London Mayor Sadiq Khan are.

The closest Morgan got to any sort of tough-line questioning was when he brought up the fact that the President last year retweeted inflammatory videos by far-right group Britain First, an action which Prime Minister Theresa May dubbed “wrong”.

When Morgan asked Trump if he would apologise for the tweets, explaining that they had “upset” a lot of British people, the President replied: “If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologise if you’d like me to do that.” And that was all we got.

Another element of the interview which caused surprise was Trump’s assertion that he is “very popular” in the UK – perhaps the only moment during the show where Morgan openly challenged him. If Twitter reactions were anything to go by, this isn’t quite true.

Before we knew it, Morgan was presenting Trump with an Arsenal football shirt for his son Barron and that was the end of it.

Ultimately, viewers were left disappointed by the way an interview which had so much potential only vaguely touched on a number of subjects which could have been goldmines. If we’re going to learn anything new, we need many more questions and a lot less ego.

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