Just a few hours before the final face-off between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, newly-released archive footage from 2008 shows Trump praising his Democratic opponent as a “very smart,” tough woman, who he believed would go down in history “at minimum as a great senator.”
Sitting down with NY1 journalist Dominic Carter, Trump said Clinton had been unfairly “roughed up” by the Obama campaign; just yesterday (Oct. 18), the Republican presidential nominee called her “the most corrupt person to ever run for the presidency.”
Sounding sympathetic, Trump said in the interview that Clinton had been bruised by the 2008 election cycle but was “a great trooper” afterward in working to campaign for Obama. “She took some pretty hard hits,” he said. “From the media but really from the Obama campaign.”
In the nearly three-minute-long clip posted this afternoon, Trump spoke with what seems like a genuine nostalgia for the “Clinton years,” calling critics of former president Bill Clinton “jealous as hell.”
“We had no war, the economy was doing great, everybody was happy,” he said. “A lot of people hated him because they were jealous as hell.”
When asked specifically about Hillary Clinton’s legacy, within the context of her 2008 loss of the democratic nomination, Trump said her history was “far from being over.”
“I’d like to answer that question in another 15 years from now,” he said. “I think she’s going to go down, at a minimum, as a great senator. I think she is a great wife to a president.”
Trump’s campaign has not returned a request for comment by Quartz.
The 2008 interview was initially flagged by CNN’s KFile. NY1 wrote that it found extended footage in the network’s archives Wednesday morning following the CNN inquiry.
This is not the first time video has emerged in which Trump praised the Clintons as friends and capable leaders.
In an interview from October of 2008, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer the Clintons were “fantastic people.”
“We know all about the smarts and how smart they are,” he said, “but they are good people.”