Comedian Jimmy Kimmel welcomed “a tangerine-tinted Godzilla,” presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, to the historic El Capitan Theater in Hollywood Wednesday amid the candidate’s four-day West Coast swing.
Trump, in a well-tailored suit and good spirits, joked with the late night talk show host about the state of the presidential race and his campaign message, with the candidate also addressing some hot-button issues of the day.
Pressed by Kimmel about the ongoing debate over bathroom access for transgender individuals, Trump repeated his support for states' rights on the subject in the face of the Obama Administration’s efforts to push schools to allow universal access to restrooms.
“I hope the states will do the right thing,” Trump said, but when pressed what that would be he dodged. “I mean, I don’t know yet,” he added.
Trump told Kimmel he would only accept a $1 salary as President if he’s elected, and touted spending the least amount of major presidential candidates for the largest GOP primary vote total in history.
“I spent less money and had the best result, which is what we want from a President,” he said.
Asked if he enjoyed the ongoing Democratic primary fight, Trump said he did. “It’s getting nasty. I had no idea it was going to be so nasty," a remark that prompted Kimmel to note Trump seemed to like it.
Trump again denied that he was the voice impersonating a nonexistent public relations staffer in an interview with PEOPLE more than two decades ago.
“I will say this, to me that didn’t sound like my voice,” Trump said as Kimmel looked on incredulously.
“Over the years I have used aliases,” Trump admitted, saying he used different names to make real estate purchases anonymously. “I used the name Barron,” he added, explaining that’s how he named his youngest son.
Addressing the audience during a commercial break, Kimmel remarked how odd it was to have Trump appear in person. “I think I dream about him at night,” the comedian said. “We talk about him so much. We write jokes about him all the time. And now he’s a real person and he’s here.”
Before welcoming Trump on stage, Kimmel had a few jokes at his guest’s expense, saying Trump was on the verge of clinching the required number of delegates needed to formally claim the nomination. “He’s so close he can smell it like a discontinued Trump steak,” Kimmel said.
Trump appeared with Kimmel before taping an interview with Mario Lopez and attending a $25,000-per-person fundraiser in Santa Monica. Pressed about fundraising in the first significant way for his campaign, Trump repeatedly emphasized that the largest beneficiary of the fundraising is the Republican National Committee.
Describing the attendees at the closed-press fundraiser, Trump told Kimmel they were “very rich people, very successful people, and in some cases very liberal people … who are voting for me.”
In the final segment, Kimmel read from the sequel to a mock children’s book he wrote in Trump’s name. It closed with Trump joining Kimmel in reading the last line: “You’ll all be winners, like ME, Donald Trump.”