David Letterman has some very strong words to describe the president of the United States.
In an interview on the latest episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, the former late-night host is confronted with the fact that he had Donald Trump on as a guest more than 30 times over the years.
“More than 30? Wow! You’re welcome, America,” Letterman jokes, adding more seriously, “I think he just liked being on TV. I had no sense that he was the soulless bastard that he’s turned into.”
The 72-year-old continues, “Everybody says, ‘Oh, wouldn’t you like to talk to Donald Trump [today]?’ And I would. I would just like to say, ‘Don, it’s Dave. Remember me? I want to talk to the real Donald Trump.’ Because I now don’t know which is the real Donald Trump, and if the Donald Trump that I was talking to [back then] was the real Donald Trump, how do you get to be the guy he is now?”
Looking at the person Trump has become, Letterman says, “Politics notwithstanding — let’s just say everything is great and he’s done a great job, but he still behaves the way he behaves — who behaves like that?!”
The comedian adds, “He used to be kind of like the boob of New York that pretended to be wealthy, or we thought was wealthy, and now he’s just a psychotic. Is that putting too fine a point on it? I don’t even care if it’s recorded, I would just like to talk to the guy, because, as I said before, he knows me, I know him — what the hell went wrong?!”
The conversation also touches on a range of other subjects, including Jay Leno famously getting the job as “The Tonight Show” host over him in the ’90s.
“I will say, without specifics, there are ways friends behave in competitive situations in life, and there are ways people behave who are not your friends,” Letterman says. “And that’s all I’m going to say about this.”
Letterman also gives his thoughts on the current crop of late night hosts, including his heir to Global’s “The Late Show”, Stephen Colbert.
“He’s fantastic,” Letterman says. He has taken that show and harnessed the political energy of the country and done a great job.”