Shane Smith talks to Silvio Berlusconi about Trump, Putin, and European politics

Berlusconi, the media-savvy real estate mogul turned populist campaigner, essentially wrote the Donald Trump playbook
April 21, 2017, 12:23pm

A new wave of populist, anti-immigration candidates are in serious contention in elections across Europe, shocking the political establishment. But one European leader was ahead of the curve: former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

He essentially wrote the Donald Trump playbook: A media-savvy real estate mogul who turned into a populist campaigner encouraging and capitalizing on voter sentiment against immigrants, Berlusconi used personal charisma to brush off scandals about his taxes and his personal life. Even today, at the age of 80, Berlusconi is popular enough to consider mounting another campaign.

VICE founder Shane Smith sat down with Berlusconi at his opulent home near Milan to discuss Russia-U.S. relations, immigration, and the rise of the European far right.

This segment originally aired April 20, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.