He even tried to warn him personally
Donald Trump really seems to hate being president. Almost as much as people seem to hate him being president.
In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, President Trump all but acknowledged the painful truth, saying: “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
And while the weight of the office has clearly caught Trump off guard, one person who saw it coming from far away was radio host Howard Stern, who has known Trump for decades.
On his show, Stern said he had a conversation with Trump less than two weeks into his presidency, where he warned him this was not going to end well.
“I really was sincere. I said, ‘Why would you want to be the president of the United States? You're not going to be beloved, it's going to be a f*cking nightmare in your life,’” Stern said.
Sure, that’s easy for anyone to say in hindsight, but Stern basically said the same thing during his show last November, right after Trump shocked the world by winning the election:
“Now, for the next four years of his life—and you don’t know how long you’re going to live—he’s got to sit there and deal with people’s f*cking anger,” Stern said. “Can he give the people what he promised them? Can he really change the economy? Can he really change America? You know this is like a barge. And if things go wrong—not even because of his own fault—and the economy starts to falter, then you’re everybody’s f*cking scumbag. Everyone’s like, ‘F*ck him.’”
Of course, most of Trump’s critics would say his unpopularity is entirely his fault. After all, through the first 100 days on the job, he’s the least popular president in history, Democrat or Republican. But Stern isn’t your typical Trump critic. While being very open about the fact that he was supporting Hillary Clinton last November, Stern said he personally likes Trump and has considered him a friend for many years. Trump attended Stern’s 2008 wedding.
But Stern says the problem for Trump is his “sensitive ego”—a terrible trait to have for any politician in Washington, D.C., where every president is under seemingly constant attack from the media, political opponents, and critics everywhere.
“He stepped into a situation that's really not a win for him," Stern said. "He's a 70-year-old guy, he's got a great life, gorgeous wife, great kids, he's got helicopters, airplanes, all the accoutrements of the great life … so now to step into this f*cking mess, and for what? There are people who are better suited for this kind of thing.
Despite their friendship, Stern hasn’t been shy about offering Trump free advice and/or criticism over the airwaves. Just this week, Stern said the president should fire Sean Spicer, whom he said speaks in “fluent moron.”