Want to take a deep dive into the psyche of Donald Trump? Look no further than The Run-up, a podcast "that makes sense of the most delirious stretch of the 2016 campaign." Taped before Trump's run for the presidency, the five-hour recording reveals much about the larger-than-life businessman, including his greatest fear:
The intense ambitions and undisciplined behaviors of Mr. Trump have confounded even those close to him, especially as his presidential campaign comes to a tumultuous end, and he confronts the possibility of the most stinging defeat of his life. But in the more than five hours of conversations — the last extensive biographical interviews Mr. Trump granted before running for president — a powerful driving force emerges: his deep-seated fear of public embarrassment.
In the tapes, Trump goes on record as saying he doesn't look back, focusing only on the present and the future.
"What he's saying is, I don't ask for forgiveness because I don't look back. I don't want to look back. I may not like what I find. But that is a denial of the power of forgiveness, the power of atonement, the power of sacrifice," Glenn said.
Read below or listen to the full segment for answers to these questions:
• What does it mean if a man can't reflect on his life?
• Did something damaging happen in Trump's childhood?
• How did Trump respond to his wife publicly skiing better than him?
• What does Trump love about physical fighting?
• Will Trump ever have a day of reckoning with himself?
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: There's an election podcast called the Run-up that is out right now. And Donald Trump said, "You know, this is pretty old and boring stuff, but I hope people enjoy it." That was his statement on Monday night. It's not old stuff. It's two years old. It's an interview, five hours of an interview with him right before he announced. When he was -- when he was asked, you know -- you know, look back on your life and analyze yourself. What's the meaning of life that you have found?
He said, "I don't want to think about it. I don't analyze myself because I might not like what I see."
Who do you -- do you have any heroes? Who do you look up to?
"I don't have any heroes."
Do you --
PAT: I think he's his own hero.
GLENN: Do you look at history? How do you use history to understand what's happening now?
Quote, I don't like to talk about the past. It's all about the present and the future. And for the most part, you can't respect people because most people aren't worthy of respect.
Then he talked about how he doesn't need -- he said, "I would be very happy in a one-bedroom. I don't need these three floors in the Trump building."
GLENN: He said, "It's very hard for someone to be married to me." He always seems to return in one form or another to the theme of humiliation. He reserves special scorn for people who embarrass themselves in front of their peers. He tells a story of an unnamed bank president who became inebriated during an award dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, a ritual of New York society.
By the end of the night, he recalls, the man was incapable of walking. He had to be carried out.
Donald Trump, "We all had an arm, a leg, a back, and we carried him out of the room that night, right after he made the worst speech you've ever heard. And I've never looked at him the same way. I've never forgot that, in the front of the room, the most important people, we had to carry him out of the room. And so things like that have an impact on me."
I think that's -- that would have an impact on me too.
There's little trace of sympathy of understanding when people lose face. Mr. Trump's reaction is swift and unforgiving. If Mr. Trump feels he has been made a fool of, his response can be volcanic.
Ivana Trump told the reporter about a Colorado ski vacation she took with Mr. Trump soon after they began dating. The future Mrs. Trump had not told her boyfriend that she was an accomplished skier. As she recalls it, Mr. Trump went down the hill first and waited for her at the bottom.
So -- this is Ivana. So he goes up and stops and he says, "Come on, baby. Come on, baby." I went up. I went. I did two flips in the air. Two flips right in front of him. I disappeared. Donald was so angry, he took off his skis, his ski boots, and walked up to the restaurant. He couldn't take it. He just couldn't take.
He had been bested in public, as he stormed off the slope, leaving behind a trail of equipment, she recalled. Donald Trump could not contain his embarrassment. Quote, she recalled him saying, I'm not going to do this for anybody, including you.
On the tapes, Mr. Trump also describes a passionate enjoyment of fighting.
Now, listen to this. Then I'm going to play you some audio from yesterday, which I think the press is being extraordinarily unfair on.
On the tapes, he describes a passionate enjoyment of fighting which started during his adolescence in Queens. It didn't matter, he said, whether the altercation was verbal or physical, he loved it all the same. Quote, I was a very rebellious kind of person. I didn't -- I don't like too talk about it actually. But I was very rebellious and very set in my ways. In the eighth grade, I loved to fight. I always have loved to fight. Physical fights. Any kind of fights. All types of fights. Even arguments. Any kind of fight, I love it, including physical.
Now, he then talks about how he was a real troubled kid. And at the age of 13, he had to be sent off to the New York Military Academy because his parents couldn't deal with him anymore.
He said, "I'm standing there in the military academy, and this guy comes out. He's like a bulldog, a rough guy. He was a drill sergeant. Now they call him Major Dobias. But he was a sergeant then. When I knew him, Sergeant Dobias. Right out of the Army. And he was a rough guy. Physically rough. Mentally rough. He also was my baseball coach. And he used to say things like, "Stand up." And I would say, "Give me an, expletive, break." The guy came at me. You would never believe what he did. I mean, he came at me. It was really fantastic.
Did he rough you up?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
He grabbed you by the shirt?
Oh, yeah. But it doesn't matter. It's not like what it happens today. You have to learn to survive. It was tough, not like today. Those were rougher times. These guys go back to some of those old drill sergeants, they can't even understand what's going on in this country. I loved the old days.
Now, listen, he loves to fight. Listen, now, the press has this so unfair against Donald Trump: Joe Biden threatened -- said I want to take him out behind a bar.
STU: The gym is what he said.
GLENN: Yeah, the gym. I want to take him behind the gym. Basically he's threatening. I want to take him out and beat him up.
Here's two losers, two guys who think they're 13 years old, threatening violence against each other. The press doesn't report that the vice president just threatened violence on Donald Trump. They only report that Donald Trump threatened violence on Joe Biden. But it was a response to Joe Biden's threat.
STU: Right. They've handled that completely unfairly.
GLENN: Oh, completely unfairly. But here's Donald Trump's response.
DONALD: Did you see where Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn? Me. He wants it. I'd love that. I'd love that. Mr. Tough Guy. You know, he's Mr. Tough Guy.
You know when he's Mr. Tough guy? When he's standing behind a microphone by himself. That's when -- he wants to bring me to the back of the barn. Oh. Some things in life you could really love doing.
Our nation has lost -- and, by the way, if I said that, they'd say, "He's violent. How could he have done that?"
PAT: And they did say that.
STU: That's true.
PAT: They did say it, anyway, even though it was Biden who said it first.
GLENN: Yep, yep.
STU: Yeah. Totally unfair.
GLENN: Okay. So the next thing that's on these tapes that's very interesting --
PAT: I'd pay a lot of money to see that fight, by the way.
GLENN: I think Donald Trump would kick --
PAT: Oh --
GLENN: Oh, Donald Trump would --
PAT: Destroy him.
GLENN: Yeah. That would be like a scene out of the Sopranos. He would just be beating and beating and beating.
GLENN: Anyway, in these -- in these tapes that Donald Trump says, really old -- two years old -- and -- and kind of boring. So far, they're very interesting.
He says he can still recall the thrill of a newspaper mentioning his name for the first time.
Quote, I said, I love it. I love it. It's the first time I was ever in the newspaper. I was a young kid, right? I was probably a sophomore in high school. I don't think anything is wrong with that. I thought it was amazing. It felt good. Donald Trump was hooked. But it wasn't enough for Mr. Trump to be the object of media fascination. He took pleasure in knowing that such coverage was denied to almost everyone else.
When Mr. D'Antonio said that it was exciting for anybody to be mentioned in a newspaper, a seemingly wounded Mr. Trump interrupted and explained why his experience was special. Quote, well, most people aren't in print though. Don't forget, I mean, how many people are in print? Nobody is in print.
Mr. Trump refused to let the subject go, emphasizing over and over again how unique it was and how he had been mentioned in the newspaper. By the time he was an established businessman, Donald Trump hired a service to compile the swelling number of references made of him in the media. Which he then reviewed. He told on tape, "There are thousands of them. Thousands. Every day, thousands. Thousands a day." He quickly figured out the media attention was free advertising. "I could say no, and then I could advertise a project I'm doing, like Doral or something, and spend half a million dollars on it or a million dollars. Or I can do a show and spend nothing and be on for a lot longer." Do you understand what I mean? So I've always felt it was a positive thing.
No matter the newspaper, magazine, or show, Mr. Trump has always been keeping score, how positive coverage was and how often he was featured, just as he does today.
Unfortunately, Mr. Trump fears more than anything else being ignored, being overlooked or being irrelevant.
This is why I bring this up. Because this is -- this is the trait in him that makes Putin such a dangerous foe. That's how he saw Arsenio Hall in the 2000s, as forgotten and ungrateful for his time on the Celebrity Apprentice.
There was a time when he recalled his favorite song during our interview. It was performed by Peggy Lee. Is That All There Is.
Trump: It's a great song because I've had these tremendous successes, and then I'm off to the next one. Because it's like, oh, is that all there is?
GLENN: He is -- he is a tragic figure. He's a sad figure, I think.
That's a great song, actually. That's an interesting song, especially sung by her, because she had such a troubled life.
But he quickly retreats from the moment, declining Mr. D'Antonio's invitation to further explain how the song makes him feel about himself. Saying, "I don't know if I'll like what I discover."
Of this, however, Mr. Trump is certain: He needs the world's attention and the embrace. A life force that has sustained him for decades. He recalls walking into a giant room and watching the crowd surround him as if he were a magnet attracting everything around him.
Mr. D'Antonio asked him when that first started.
Oh, a long time ago. It's really always been that way.
Did it ever unnerve him, the author wondered.
No, Trump said. I think what would unnerve me is if it didn't happen. I find that an interesting look -- I think Donald Trump is one of the more interesting guys, if you could ever break down the wall. Because I think there is something -- something at 13. Something -- I don't know. Something in his youth that had to have happened that cemented this need for attention. And I think he is a very frightened man. Like the Peggy Lee song. Is that all there is?
And anybody who is an alcoholic -- now, Trump has total self-control on alcohol and everything else. But if anybody is an alcoholic, you know that that's the way you feel.
You'll have a success. And you'll have a high. Or you'll have whatever. And you'll be -- is that it? And you're always looking for the next great whatever. And it never happens. You get there. And you think, that's going to make me happy. That's going to make it. And it doesn't. And you're more empty inside.
And eventually, you crash. He's never had the crash. And he doesn't want to look backward.
You know, when he said, "I don't ask for forgiveness because I don't need to ask for forgiveness," this interview shows that's not true. What he's saying is, I don't ask for forgiveness because I don't look back. I don't want to look back. I may not like what I find. But that is a denial of the power of forgiveness, the power of atonement, the power of sacrifice. He -- none of us like what we find in our past. None of us like what we have, you know, the things that we've done. That's why we have to have that forgiveness.
And he doesn't understand that. And some day -- I mean, I don't know if you can teach old dogs new tricks. I mean, how much more time does he have before -- you know, ten, 15, 20 maybe years before he can have that moment where he can go, "Oh, man, why was I fighting so hard all these years? Why was I doing that? I didn't need to run from my past."
JEFFY: Oh, you think he has one of those moments?
GLENN: I hope so. I hope so. For his own happiness, I hope so. Because I don't think he's happy. He might think he's happy, but I don't think he really is. I used to think I was really happy, but it was only because I was running so hard. You know, it says something that he can't -- he has to have somebody around him at all times. He has to be occupied by something at all times. He's not -- to me, that's a sign -- if you can drive in your car by yourself and turn the radio off and be alone with your thoughts --
STU: Outside of this time slot. Another time slot.
GLENN: Yeah. Another time slot. You can -- to me, that's a sign that you're pretty healthy. But if you can't be alone with your own thoughts, that's a problem.
Featured Image: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pauses during a campaign event September 6, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Trump participated in a discussion with retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)