Did Trump Nazi jibes help to swing the 2000 US election?

The New Yorker flirted with politics in 1999...

Did Trump Nazi jibes help to swing the 2000 US election?

Donald Trump on Larry King Live in 1999

Long before his successful 2016 run, Donald Trump played with the idea of launching a presidential campaign in 1999 with The Reform Party. 

When he was asked if his intervention was an attempt to scupper the ambitions of Reform Party hopeful Pat Buchanan he replied:

"I think Pat Buchanan is a disgrace. Anyone that's in love with Adolf Hitler, frankly, I am not a big fan of. I am not doing it for that reason. But Pat Buchanan has come out, essentially, in favour of Adolf Hitler and I think it's a disgrace."

During an appearance on Meet the Press, on the topic of Pat Buchanan, he added, ''I guess he's an anti-Semite. He doesn't like the blacks, he doesn't like the gays ... It's just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy.''

Donald Trump was referring to theories expressed by Pat Buchanan regarding Hitler's political motivations and the origins of World War II - Mr Buchanan rejected these accusations.

Plots

According to a new Netflix documentary, Get Me Roger Stone, Mr Buchanan was encouraged to leave the Republican Party by advisors linked to Roger Stone, a Republican political operative who has been dubbed the 'Dark Prince.'

Mr Stone, a long term Trump advisor, later also pushed the mogul to pursue his first serious flirtation with politics as he publicly considered a run for the Reform Party's nomination in opposition to Mr Buchanan.

Bay Buchanan, who acted as Treasurer of the United States under Ronald Regan, and is Pat's sister, later said that she didn't "understand why he [Stone] would want us in the Reform Party in the first place," if he was going to bring in Trump and cast Pat as a Nazi sympathiser.

The new Netflix doc' suggests that it was all part of an elaborate dirty tricks campaign, backed by Stone, designed to damage The Reform Party by pushing Buchanan to the fore of the party, before destroying his campaign.

The Party's presence on the 1992 and 1996 election ballots had cost the Republican Party.

When Bill Clinton defeated George H.W Bush in 1992 he secured 43% of the popular vote compared to Bush's 37.5% - while Reform candidate Ross Perot won a more-than-substantial 18.91%.

In 1996 Clinton won 49%, Bob Dole trailed with almost 41%, while 8.4% went to Perot.

Fast forward to 2000 and the Trump diversion - and his Nazi-mudslinging - and a series of follow-up attacks on Buchanan's character and his campaign fell apart.

The theory goes that, heading into the 2000 campaign, frustrated Republicans wanted to take the Reform Party out of the picture as its followers were more likely to vote Republican. In the documentary, Mr Stone acknowledges that he may have "played some role" in the collapse of the Reform Party. 

Its 2000 convention descended into chaos as the party split in two.

Buchanan's support waned and he failed to secure a place on the ballot. That election delivered the Republican's first victory in 12 years as Bush edged out Al Gore by the slimmest of margins.