Rachel Maddow exposed one of Donald Trump’s phobias on her show last night: flying tomatoes. And pineapples. And bananas.
She read from the transcript of Trump’s deposition this past October from a civil lawsuit involving protestors who say Trump’s security guards beat them up outside of Trump Tower in 2015. They are arguing that Trump is liable because of his pattern of calling for violence against protestors.
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And during the deposition, there was a long discussion of flying fruit.
“Mr. President, you said that ‘if you see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, just knock the crap out of them, would you.’ Was that your statement?” a lawyer asked Trump.
“Oh yeah, it was very dangerous,” Trump responded.
The two went back and forth about fruit being thrown, with Trump’s lawyer insisting that tomatoes are fruit because they have seeds even though no one claimed that tomatoes weren’t fruit.
And Trump kept on repeating how “threatened” he felt because he thought someone was going to throw fruit at him when he made a speech.
“I thought the Secret Service was involved in that, actually. But we were told. And you get hit with fruit, it’s… no, it very violent stuff. We were on alert for that,” he said.
Trump said it’s not just tomatoes, “it’s worse than tomato, it’s other things also. But tomato, when they start doing that stuff, it’s very dangerous.”
The lawyer again asked Trump if he was asking the audience to “knock the crap out of” people they saw with tomatoes.
“It was sort of in jest,” Trump responded. “But maybe, you know, a little truth to it. It’s very dangerous stuff. you can get killed with those things.”
The lawyer then asked Trump what he told his security guards to do to people with tomatoes, and Trump said: “Well, a tomato, a pineapple, a lot of other things they throw… Yeah, I think that they have to be aggressive in stopping that from happening. Because if that happens, you can be killed if that happens.”
Trump later added bananas to the list of fruit he was worried about.
“If throwing a tomato is a lethal threat, what wouldn’t be justified?” Maddow asked.
“With the release of this deposition in this past day, we now know a whole new thing we didn’t know before about former President Trump, which is that he is apparently desperately afraid of a flying tomato,” she said.
“I don’t know,” she said. “If I were a man in his position, I am not sure I would let the world know I had that kind of a phobia — just seems like you’re it exposing your weakness to the world, right?”
“But his fear of a flying tomato is apparently so all-consuming that when confronted verbally with a discussion about the possibility of somebody throwing a tomato, he immediately extrapolates that from the tomato to the threat of a flying banana and then to the threat of a flying pineapple.”
“OK sir, and how about we give you the nuclear codes for the United States of America?” Maddow said sarcastically. “Because if there is an incoming banana, somebody’s gonna have to make the hard call, because we all might die!”