Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE on Friday explained that his previous insults of Ben Carson were "part of the game," hours before Carson was to endorse him.
 
Last fall, Trump called the retired neurosurgeon "pathological" and compared him to a child molester.
 
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"It was part of the game," Trump said Friday morning on "Fox and Friends." "All I was doing is trying to say exactly what he said [in his autobiography]." 
 
Carson appeared to be Trump's closest competitor when the businessman lobbed those attacks in November. The retired neurosurgeon ended his presidential campaign last week.
 
Trump said Carson reached out to offer his endorsement.
 
"I got call from Ben, and he said, 'You know, you're doing something that's amazing,'" Trump said. "'I love what you're doing, and I'd love to join, and I'd love to endorse you.'"
 
The GOP front-runner touted Carson as "a terrific guy, loved by everybody."