President Trump reportedly sought information about former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s with the ambition of single-handedly ending the Cold War, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Bernard Lown told The Hollywood Reporter. Lown, 95, shared the 1985 Peace Prize with a Soviet physician for the pair's denuclearization efforts. He told The Hollywood Reporter that Trump sought a meeting with him shortly after Lown returned from the USSR in 1986, and that Trump expressed his goal of being posted to Moscow by Ronald Reagan.
"He said to me, 'I hear you met with Gorbachev, and you had a long interview with him, and you're a doctor, so you have a good assessment of who he is,'" Lown said. "So I asked, 'Why would you want to know?' And he responded, 'I intend to call my good friend Ronnie,' meaning Reagan, 'to make me a plenipotentiary ambassador for the United States with Gorbachev.' Those are the words he used. And he said he would go to Moscow and he'd sit down with Gorbachev, and then he took his thumb and he hit the desk and he said, 'And within one hour the Cold War would be over!' I sat there dumbfounded. 'Who is this self-inflated individual? Is he sane or what?'"
Trump's desire to end the Cold War with his real estate deal-making abilities was well known and often widely mocked. "The idea that he would ever be allowed to go into a room alone and negotiate for the United States, let alone be successful in disarming the world, seems the naive musing of an optimistic, deluded young man who has never lost at anything he has tried," The New York Times wrote in 1984.
But as much as he was mocked at home, Trump did eventually get his audience with Gorbachev:
It wasn't long after the Trump-Lown meeting in 1986 that Trump made his first trip to the Soviet Union: In July 1987, he traveled to Moscow and met with Gorbachev. "The ostensible subject of their meeting was the possible development of luxury hotels in the Soviet Union by Mr. Trump," The New York Times wrote at the time. "But Mr. Trump's calls for nuclear disarmament were also well known to the Russians." (Trump told Playboy three years later, "Generally, these guys are much tougher and smarter than our representatives.") [The Hollywood Reporter]
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