Chuck Todd: Trump watches replays of interviews with the sound off
President-elect Donald Trump pays careful attention to the visuals of his interviews, often watching the clips with the sound off, according to NBC’s Chuck Todd.
“I have interviewed him multiple times,” Todd, the host of “Meet the Press,” said in an interview with Politico. “The amount of times he spends after the interview is over with the sound off. He wants to see what it all looked like.”
“He will watch the whole thing on mute,” Todd said. “He thinks this way, and look, it’s an important insight in just understanding him. The visual stuff is very real beyond just himself.”
Trump is known to be an avid watcher of cable news and has carefully honed his public image over the years in countless media appearances and interviews.
In the 1989 book “You Are the Message: Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are,” former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes shared his process on choosing on-air talent, which included watching them for about 10 minutes with the sound off.
“If there was nothing happening on screen in the way the host looked or moved that made me interested enough to stand up and turn the sound up, then I knew that the host was not a great television performer,” Ailes wrote, adding, “If nothing moved me toward that sound knob, I would often recommend terminating the contract of that performer.”
Ailes — a media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush — reportedly had unofficially advised Trump throughout his campaign.
Todd also shared the one thing that drives him crazy about Trump.
“Do you know what? I’ve never seen him laugh,” Todd observed. “I challenge somebody to find him laughing, and that person has yet to find an example, in my opinion.”
Trump last appeared on “Meet the Press” on July 24 following the Republican National Convention.