During the presidential election, Trump was able to wash his hands of any number of embarrassing videos that surfaced from his past — and the latest shows he had no shortage of practice.
In a 1993 interview on Howard Stern’s radio show that was recently uncovered by Newsweek and Factbase, Trump said he had “germ phobia” and washed his hands as often as possible.
In the interview, Stern apologizes for “spitting all over” his guest, and adds: “I shouldn’t spit all over you because you have germ phobia, true?”
“I do have germ phobia,” Trump replies.
“You wash your hands how many times a day?”
“As many times as possible,” says Trump.
“But you realize that’s a psychological problem?”
“It could be a psychological problem.”
“But there’s no way for you to get—you cannot overpower this problem?” Stern asks.
“So far I haven’t left to wash my hands,” Trump said.
“Theoretically you know, ‘cause that’s obsessive-compulsive, right?” Stern asked. “Have you ever gone to a psychiatrist to eliminate that problem?”
“No. I like it. I like cleanliness. Cleanliness is a nice thing. Not only hands, body, everything,” Trump concluded.
Trump reiterated his Lady MacBethian tendencies in his 1997 book Art of the Comeback. “One of the curses of American society is the simple act of shaking hands, and the more successful and famous one becomes the worse this terrible custom seems to get,” he wrote. “I happen to be a clean hands freak. I feel much better after I thoroughly wash my hands, which I do as much as possible.”
In the Stern interview, the radio host asked Trump how his hygiene extended to his sex life, via rumors that he required his partners to be tested for HIV. Trump also mentioned that he had “felt up” his then-girlfriend and future wife and first lady Melania in public.
He didn’t mention if he washed his hands before or after.