The death of pioneering broadcast journalist Barbara Walters has inspired tributes, including sharing a brutal 1990 interview with future President Donald Trump.
Walters, the first American woman to work as an evening news anchor, died Friday at the age of 93. Her journalism career spanned 60 years and has included hosting several primetime news programs and specials, as well as hosting the daytime talk show The viewwhich she also created.
Cindi Berger, Walters’ publicist, said in a statement that she “passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by loved ones.” Berger added that Walters “lived her life with no regrets,” while hailing her as “a trailblazer not just for female journalists, but for all women.”
Tributes for Walters flooded social media shortly after her death was announced on Friday night. Some were accompanied by the video clip of her tense interview with Trump, in which Walters challenged the future president over his finances after offering rhetoric previewing his now-frequent “fake news” claim.
“I’ve never seen press coverage like this about me,” Trump said during the interview. “I hope the general public understands how dishonest the press is in this country.”
Walters was quick to respond by offering to “clarify some of the things” that he claimed were dishonest, going on to say that Trump is “on the brink of bankruptcy” and has been “bailed out by the banks,” despite Trump Bankers had told him he was “stronger than ever”.
“Walk on thin ice and almost drown, that’s a businessman to admire?” asked Walters.
“You say on the brink of bankruptcy, Barbara, and you speak on the edge, and you listen to what people say,” Trump shot back, before Walters revealed that she had personally spoken to his banker.
Trump went on to argue that his bankers said he recently made a “big deal.” Walters bluntly replied, “No, they aren’t.”
“Barbara Walters knew Donald Trump was a FRAUD,” commented author Don Winslow at the time divide the clip on Friday on Twitter.
“Barbara Walters had Donald Trump’s number in 1990,” communications consultant Scott Monty said tweeted. “She researched, backed up her claims and didn’t back down. Ironically, she died the same day his tax return was released.”
“Remembering Barbara Walters: Walters, a legendary journalist, confronted Donald Trump years before he took office when he was already trying to smear journalists.” tweeted Journalist Shakari Briggs sharing the video. “Her interviewing skills were top notch and could have been studied as a class.”
“Barbara Walters showed many years ago that Trump was an imposter,” said journalist Lana Montalban tweeted. “Why did so many refuse to see the truth? #RIPBarbaraWalters You will be missed lady.”
Walters conducted interviews with Trump several times during her long career, the first coming in 1987.
Her last interview with Trump, along with future first lady Melania Trump, in 2015 was far less controversial. It asked questions about how the then presidential candidate was dealing with his role as “Grandpa Trump”.
Trump hailed Walters as “the great Barbara Walters” while promoting the interview on social media at the time.
news week has reached out to the Trump office for comment.
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