Donald Trump, already showing signs of "Russia mania," planned to ask President Reagan for an ambassadorship to the Soviet Union so he could negotiate nuclear disarmament. Or so a 95-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner tells the Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive interview. Bernard Lown, who invented the defibrillator, met Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, becoming one of the first Westerners to spend time with the leader of the USSR. That, apparently, gave Lown expertise Trump was interested in. The future president requested a meeting with the cardiologist in 1986.
Lown took the meeting. He says Trump believed he was the only one who could successfully negotiate a nuclear disarmament deal with the USSR, bragging that "within one hour the Cold War would be over." Lown recalls thinking Trump was "self-inflated" and wondering about his sanity. He says Trump appeared to lose focus during their 20-minute conversation about Gorbachev; it felt like he had "another agenda." It's unclear how far Trump pursued his plan to ask Reagan for an ambassadorship, though his desire to negotiate with the USSR was widely reported in the mid-80s. Trump did eventually travel to meet with Gorbachev about a never-built hotel in 1987. Read the full Hollywood Reporter piece here. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)