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In light of Moammar Gadhafi‘s Oct. 20 death, ABC News has dipped into its vault to post one of the network’s more unique interviews with the Libyan dictator.
At the height of his power, in January 1989, Barbara Walters traveled to Tripoli for 20/20 sit-down interview Gadhafi. They met in a brightly-colored tent where the then 59-year-old broadcaster called Gadhafi “crazy.”
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“He was crazy like a fox,” Walters said of their meeting, in a Thursday interview with George Stephanopoulos. “He thought that he was going to be the king of the whole Arab world.”
In the original clip, which ABC News has promoted heavily in the last 24 hours, Walters described her first impressions of Gadhafi.
“The interview was done in a tent he uses as an office,” she said. “He had an interpreter, though he speaks some English and seemed to understand my questions — though he rarely looked me in the eye.”
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Walters did get a laugh out of Gadhafi at one point, when she noted that his English was better than his interpreter’s.
Still, the segment remains a largely uncomfortable window into Gadhafi’s feelings towards America at the time, including his particular distaste for President Ronald Reagan.
“In my point of view, America is made up of two parts,” he said. “That is, the American people and the American administration ruling it… The American people, they are completely ignorant of the world completely and they know nothing about the outside world. And unfortunately during the recent years the American administration become more interested with the outside world than with the internal problems.”
STORY: CNN, MSNBC, Fox Air Gruesome Cell Phone Video of Dead Gadhafi
Gadhafi insisted that he understood the American people “very well,” making a special point of calling out the media as “Zionists” intent on presenting a false impression of him.
“They will show pictures of me next to skulls, to dead bodies,” he said. “They are not reflecting the true picture of me.”
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