Trump made a 'startlingly honest admission' about his reasons for entering politics: columnist
Donald Trump addresses crowd in Sioux City, Iowa in 2016. (

Donald Trump offered a surprising explanation for why he entered politics.

The former president gave extensive interviews to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, for her forthcoming book, "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America," and CNN's Chris Cillizza was struck by one passage in particular.

"The question I get asked more than any other question: 'If you had it to do again, would you have done it?'" Trump told Haberman. "The answer is, yeah, I think so. Because here's the way I look at it. I have so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are."

Cillizza said the admission was unexpectedly candid and alarmingly revealing.

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"OK. So, just to be crystal clear here -- Trump is saying that if he had it to do all over, he would run for president again because it made him more famous," Cillizza wrote. "That the key motivation for him to run for president was to be well-known -- and it worked.

"That's a startlingly honest admission -- even for Trump," he added. "He didn't even attempt to go for a more traditional answer like, I don't know, helping people or seeing policies he believed in enacted and executed. Just right to the purely personal."

The revelation also provided a peek into what a possible second Trump term would look like.

"At the start of his presidency, there was an active debate as to whether Trump would bend his way to the conventions of the presidency or whether he would force the presidency to warp to his will," Cillizza wrote. "Looking back in hindsight, it's clear Trump did the latter, forcing his desire for fame and power onto the White House for four years. To think anything would be different if he gets four more years in the job after the 2024 election is a fool's errand."