Donald Trump has repeatedly compared the risks of dating to serving in war. In 1993, Trump, who received multiple draft deferments, told Howard Stern if you are dating, "you're the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam." In 1997, he told Stern that dating was his "own personal Vietnam."
In 2004, Trump adapted his comparison to modern times, updating his reference by likening dating to serving in Iraq. Trump was speaking to Playboy magazine about dating in the age of AIDS when he made the comment.
"Was there a time when you worried about AIDS because of all you'd done?" asked Playboy.
"There was, but I got tested," said Trump. "I think it's hard for young kids today. It's a whole different thing. I tell my sons just to get a nice girlfriend and be happy, because it's dangerous out there. It's Vietnam. I guess now we can say it's Iraq—same deal, right?"
Earlier in the interview, Trump talked about the heyday of Studio 54.
"You'd see the top models in the world getting screwed on tables in the middle of the dance floor," said Trump. "You would see things you just don't see today primarily because of AIDS and other diseases. But it was incredible. You'd see the most beautiful women in the world, the most beautiful people in the world. Then, an hour later, you'd see them making love right in front of you. And I'm there saying, 'Excuse me?'
Trump added he was dating "a million" models at the time.
"I was dating lots and lots of women," he said. "I just had a great time. They were great years, but that was pre-AIDS, and you could do things in those days that today you're at risk doing. AIDS has changed a lot."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.