The February issue of Esquire magazine features a cover of a surly-looking Donald Trump with the label "Hater in Chief: The Unlikely Face of American Anger."
Trump shrugged off the label, saying Monday on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor"
that "If you think about it, hater in chief, I do hate what's happening to America."
Of course, that's not what Esquire intended, tying its interview with the GOP presidential front-runner with its online poll of American rage.
Esquire editor David Granger called Trump a "useful tool" in an editor's note
about the cover.
"He has stymied — at least for the early part of the Republican presidential sweepstakes — the effect of Citizens United, which flooded our politics with money from oligarchs eager to buy government leaders," Granger wrote. "But even more usefully, he has forced a wide range of political figures to admit that tolerance is a crucial part of our national makeup. … That is quite the accomplishment at a time when one of our two political parties is pretty much bent on divisiveness and cultural warfare as its strategy for capturing the White House."
Fox's Bill O'Reilly asked Trump why he assented to the interview in the first place since he knew Esquire would use it to make him look bad.
"They are calling you a bigot and everything else. You know that?" O'Reilly asked.
"Well, they can call me that then," Trump said. "Look, it's the mainstream media stuff. They have go that way. I do hate what's happening to America, so in that way maybe it's a very accurate depiction."
O'Reilly complimented Trump's ability to spin the cover into a positive, but still pressed Trump on why he would hand the liberal media the hammer to hit him with.
"Because I'm always giving people a chance to be fair, Bill. Always," Trump said.
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