Donald Trump hate-tweets Penn Jillette at 3 a.m. Here's the petty backstory

"We’ve chosen to make this whackjob, with cotton-candy piss hair and birther shit, into someone we want to please"

Published July 16, 2015 2:35PM (EDT)

Penn Jillette, Donald Trump                    (AP/Richard Shotwell/Reuters/Keith Bedford)
Penn Jillette, Donald Trump (AP/Richard Shotwell/Reuters/Keith Bedford)

During the last presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton wondered how Barack Obama would handle a 3 a.m. phone call.

Perhaps this time we ought to ask how Donald Trump would handle Twitter at 3 a.m.

Early this morning -- 3:18 to be exact -- Trump (or the soundalike he pays to do his overnight Twitter) tweeted the following:

[embedtweet id="621624949179068416"]

Why the late-night hate?

Well, Penn Jillette, of course, was a candidate on "Celebrity Apprentice." He also wrote a memoir which we excerpted on Salon in 2012 in which he wrote: "We’ve chosen to make this whackjob, with the cotton candy piss hair and the birther shit, into someone we want to please."

He continued:

I made a deal with the producers and myself that I would pretend to care what Donald Trump thought of me. I believe, in the real world, that I care less about what Trump thinks of me than he cares what I think of him. When he was into his free-form rants in front of a captive audience, he would talk about articles written about him and defend himself against charges made, as far as I could tell, by random bloggers with a few hundred hits. Attacks that could have no impact on his life at all. It sounded like this cat was Googling himself, being bugged by what was written, and then defending himself to people who were trying to improve their careers by playing a TV game with him. He sat on this throne, and told us he’d made a good business decision by selling a house of his for much less than the asking price and these bloggers should know that. They should know he was a good businessman. The nightmare of Trump is not that he doesn’t care what people think; it’s that he desperately cares what people think and … he’s doing the best he can.

Jillette took the high road in response:

[embedtweet id="621654324129697792"]

By Salon Staff

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