Donald Trump and the Clintons: Old friends, but new foes?

Despite weeks of brassy squabbles, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were former friends. In a 2008 blog post, Trump wrote, 'I know Hillary and I think she’d make a great president.'

Steven Senne/Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump addresses an audience during a campaign event Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.

Before their nasty, ongoing feud, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had a long history of cordial relations.

In the latest proof of this unlikely friendship, Buzzfeed reporter Andrew Kaczynski dug up an old blog post penned by the GOP frontrunner on March 13, 2008, during the height of the Democratic primaries.

“Hillary Clinton said she’d consider naming Barack Obama as her vice-president when she gets the nomination, but she’s nowhere near a shoo-in,” Mr. Trump wrote on, describing a hypothetical “Dream Ticket” for the 2008 election.

“For his part, Obama said he’s just focused on winning the nomination, although at least one member of his team said Clinton would make a good vice-president. (I know Hillary and I think she’d make a great president or vice-president.)”

The unearthing of this old blog post coincides with escalating hostility between the candidates. On NBC’s Today show Tuesday, Trump turned his attention to Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to campaign for his wife next week in New Hampshire.

“Well, if you look at the different situations; of course, we can name many of them. I can get you a list and I'll have it sent to your office in two seconds,” Trump said on the show. “But there were certainly a lot of abuse of women, and you look at whether it's Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them.”

Trump claimed the former president has a “history of abuse” with women, citing Ms. Lewinsky, the former intern with whom Clinton had an affair while in the White House, and Ms. Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who sued Clinton for sexual harassment.

Last week, the businessman had more to say about Clinton herself, using a crude Yiddish term to describe her loss in 2008 and calling her bathroom break during the latest debate “disgusting.”

"I know where she went, it's disgusting, I don't want to talk about it," he said, criticizing Ms. Clinton for being late to the debate floor after a commercial break. "No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it, it's disgusting, let's not talk, we want to be very, very straight up."

In that same debate, Clinton called Trump a “recruitment tool” for ISIS. When Trump demanded an apology, he received a resounding “hell no.”

"Hell no. Hillary Clinton will not be apologizing to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps ISIS recruit more terrorists," Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said.

But for years before their current political squabbles, Clinton and Trump supported each other personally and professionally. In 2005, Clinton, then a Democratic Senator from New York, sat in the front row of Trump’s wedding in Palm Beach, Fla. Her husband missed the ceremony but attended the black-tie reception later.

Contribution records for the Clinton Foundation list Donald J. Trump as having given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the charitable organization, and in 2007, the apparently magnanimous candidate told Wolf Blitzer that Hillary Clinton is “very, very capable.”

“I know her very well,” Trump said. “She’s very talented. And she has a husband that I also like very much. I think she’s going to get the nomination rather easily.”

But Trump does not stand behind these statements now. On the Today show Tuesday, he credited his business acumen as the intent behind his previous praise for the Clintons.

"As a businessman, I had to get along with everybody, and I’ll be able to do that as president. I’ll be able to bring people together," he told Today host Savannah Guthrie, "when I needed approvals, when I needed something from Washington, I always got what I wanted, and that’s because I was able to get along with everybody."

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