Donald Trump Has Been Trolling The Press About His Political Ambitions For 25 Years


donald trump

REUTERS/Mike Cassese

Donald Trump smiles during a news conference to mark the opening of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto April 16, 2012.


Donald Trump flirted with presidential runs in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. He also mused about running for governor of New York in 2006.

Trump has never actually run for office. But he's managed to draw a lot of attention to himself by pretending to be interested in running for office.

Now, Trump is talking about running for Governor of New York in 2014. He told "Fox & Friends" Monday that he will decide "soon" whether to challenge New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in next year's race.

If history is any indication, Trump will string out his gubernatorial "aspirations" for as long as is feasible, and then decide against a run. He will say that he was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement. He will say that he was "inundated with calls." He will say that he would have been able to win. But that he is not going to run.


Here's our full history of Trump's trolling of the press about his political ambitions, and of credulous reporters falling for it:

  • Trump first pondered a presidential run in 1988, when he was 41. He even tested the waters with a trip to New Hampshire. Eventually, he decided against it.
  • In 1999, Trump laid groundwork to run in 2000 as a third-party candidate, atop the Reform Party ballot. He made campaign-style trips to Miami, Los Angeles, and Hartford, Conn. He said he was "looking at it seriously," before again dropping the idea.
  • In 2004, he said he was "very seriously" mulling over a presidential run. You can guess what happened next.
  • In January 2006, Trump told Fox News he was "having too much fun" to leave what he was doing at that point - hosting "The Apprentice," among other things - to run for governor. He added that it was "a great honor" that then-Republican state senate leader Joe Bruno wanted him to run. In the very same Fox article, a "political figure close to Trump" said "Donald is definitely interested in running for president in 2008, possibly as an independent candidate."
  • Trump did not run for president in 2008.
  • Then came 2011, Trump's most high-profile flirtation with a run for the presidency. He publicly questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Lloyd Grove wrote for The Daily Beast that though Trump had previously been unserious about running for president, this time was different: "A 2012 Trump presidential campaign seems at this point likely." Ultimately, Trump withdrew his name, saying again that he would have won, but he was not ready to leave the private sector.
  • Amid his mulling of a gubernatorial run next year, Trump has also spent the past six months parading around a possible presidential run in 2016. Does anyone want to guess how the next two scripts are going to end?