Trump’s testimony was given in connection to two lawsuits filed by the Republican candidate against chefs who backed out of a Trump hotel project in the capital soon after hearing Trump deliver inflammatory remarks about immigrants on the campaign trial.
Trump was under oath for nearly two hours while responding to the examiner’s questions. The videos, uploaded to YouTube on Friday, were released in response to motions filed by numerous news outlets, including BuzzFeed, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.
A D.C. Superior Court judge denied the request of Trump’s attorneys to keep the videos sealed out of concern they might become fodder for Democrats in attacks against the Trump campaign. (A transcript of Trump’s testimony has already been made public.)
“The Court finds that Plaintiff has not demonstrated that any subject video deposition contains scandalous, libelous, or other unduly prejudicial material warranting denial of media access,” the judge wrote. “The public shall not be held captive by the suggested eventuality of partisan editing in a manner unfavorable to Plaintiff or the deponents.”
Trump’s testimony made headlines earlier this summer when the transcript revealed his remarks about Mexicans—"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists”—were planned by the candidate ahead of time.
Asked whether his controversial remarks about immigrants had been written down in advance, or whether anyone else was aware he was going to say them, Trump answered “no.” Asked if he planned “in advance” what he was going to say, he answered in the affirmative.
When the examiner asked if Trump had given any thought to how his statement would affect people involved in his “current or future projects,” Trump replied: “No. No, I didn’t. I didn’t at all.”
Trump also said that his remarks could have helped Geoffrey Zakarian, one of the chefs he’s suing, because he’s “really tapped into something.” He added that his position on immigration was long-standing: “I’ve been saying these things for years. I’ve been very consistent. I’ve been saying them from before he signed the lease.”
According to Politico, when Trump’s hotel opened earlier this month, two of the restaurants he had planned to open were not included.