During an interview on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, the 72-year old former late-night host reflected on his past interviews with Trump while on Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman.
The outlet reports that Trump, now 72, appeared on Letterman’s various late-night talk shows more than 30 times.
“More than 30?” Letterman asked. “Wow! You’re welcome, America.”
“I think he just liked being on TV,” Letterman, who hosted the two shows for more than 33 years, said. “I had no sense that he was the soulless bastard that he’s turned into.”
As host of his new show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Letterman shared that, even though it’s been a long time since the two have communicated, he’d like the chance to talk to the now-president.
“Everybody says, ‘Oh, wouldn’t you like to talk to Donald Trump ?’ And I would,” he said. “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,” the TV host explained, “and if the Donald Trump that I was talking to was the real Donald Trump, how do you get to be the guy he is now? 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?”
Letterman then reminisced on Trump’s past as a real estate mogul and New York socialite.
“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,” the former late-night host said. “Is that putting too fine a point on it?”
“I would just like to talk to the guy,” Letterman emphasized, “because, as I said before, he knows me, I know him — what the hell went wrong?”
During Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Letterman shared a similar sentiment.
“I understand that he’s repugnant to people,” he said in an interview for Dateline NBC’s On Assignment at the time. “There’s nothing illegal going on. It’s just he’s despicable.”