ABC News' "This Week" took some heat on Sunday over interviewing Donald Trump about whether he wants to run for president in 2016.
Jon Karl, the network's chief White House correspondent, interviewed Trump in Ames, Iowa on Saturday night. He asked Trump whether he "could be taken seriously as a presidential candidate" and to respond to criticism that his talk of running is merely a "publicity stunt." Trump said that he is considering running.
On Sunday, Media Matters blasted ABC News' decision to host Trump on the program. "Trump is unlikely to be an actual candidate in this election or any other, and never has been- why would ABC News allow itself to be used for yet another round of promotional appearances for a charlatan?" the organization wrote.Other viewers also balked at the interview. The Huffington Post's Sam Stein tweeted:
I can't tell if this Donald Trump interview on This Week is performance art
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) August 11, 2013
Why the fuck is This Week interviewing Donald Trump? Next week: Bozo the Clown on 2016.
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) August 11, 2013
Can't believe @ThisWeekABC is doing a Trump '16 interview
— Reid Pillifant (@reidpillifant) August 11, 2013
Before the interview aired, he said that the prospect of a Trump candidacy had some people "raising their eyebrows" or "rolling their eyes."
Trump was the butt of many jokes during the 2012 campaign, as he repeatedly teased his potential candidacy (he eventually endorsed Mitt Romney) and alleged that President Obama was not born in the United States. In one particularly ridiculous stunt, he offered Obama $5 million if the president released his college transcript and passport records.