Marla Maples Says Ex-Husband Donald Trump 'Thought About' Running for President in the '90s

Marla Maples, who was wed to Donald Trump from 1993 to 1999, mentioned that campaigning for president would have affected his then-young children with first wife Ivana Trump

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Marla Maples says that her ex-husband Donald Trump‘s presidency could have happened two decades earlier.

On Today on Tuesday, the former Dancing with the Stars contestant was asked, “Did you ever, when you guys were dating, did you ever think that this day would come, where he would one day be president? Did he ever talk about it with you?”

“Oh gosh. Yes. Absolutely,” Maples replied. “It’s something we thought about doing in the ’90s.”

Maples, who wed Trump in 1993 and got divorced in 1999, mentioned that campaigning would have affected his three, then-young children with his first wife Ivana Trump: Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.

“But I knew how difficult it would be on the kids,” Maples said. “Donnie, Ivanka and Eric were much younger. It’s a big toll. It can take a big toll on kids. It’s a whole other world.”

Co-anchor Craig Melvin then prodded Maples: “Has there been a point where you’ve been surprised by something the president has said or done?”

“I just think life is about being ready for anything and where you’re gonna find the positive in all things,” Maples answered. “I choose not to judge anybody else. I don’t want to be judged, so how can I judge another human being? I just want to give the best version of myself I can. I just say to all my friends, let’s just help lift this world, not bring it down. What we can do to lift it.”

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Trump had long floated the idea of running for president. In a 1988 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, when the host asked if Trump had presidential ambitions, he said that while he would “probably not” make a bid for the office, “I do get tired of seeing what’s happening with this country, and if it got so bad, I would never want to rule it out totally.”

“I always knew that this would be happening,” Maples told PEOPLE in 2016 about Trump’s campaign. “It was something we talked about when we were first together, him running for president and what that would mean for our family.”

Donald Trump With Marla Maples
Marla Maples and Donald Trump. Tom Gates/Getty

After Maples and Trump’s split, she raised their daughter Tiffany in Calabasas, California.

“Her daddy is a good provider with education and such, but as far as time, it was just me,” Maples told PEOPLE in 2016 about her parenting. “Her father wasn’t able to be there with day-to-day skills as a parent. He loves his kids. There’s no doubt. But everything was a bit of a negotiation.”

In April of this year, a source told PEOPLE of Trump and Tiffany, “They always had a strained relationship her whole life, and it got exacerbated by the presidency.”

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