Piers Morgan has denied letting Donald Trump off the hook in interviews, but admitted that “there is a limit to what you can do with a serving president with the secret service in the room”.
The Good Morning Britain (GMB) host had the first international interview with Mr Trump as president at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January last year.
And earlier this year, he interviewed Trump again at the Churchill War Rooms in London.
Asked whether he could truly claim to be objective given his friendship with President Trump, Morgan said that his interviews were as “combative” as any other.
Speaking at the Royal Television Society’s conference in Cambridge, he said: “I would say, look at the last one we did in the Churchill War Rooms.
“I did 35 minutes with him, roughed him up on about four or fives things including the transgender ban in the military.
“I took him to task on that. Took him to task on guns again. Took him to task on other things.”
He added: “I compare it to any interview he gives to any of the American networks. I appreciate that he doesn’t do many outside of the family – Fox and so on – but he does do quite a few.
“I think (my interviews) are certainly as combative as any of those that I have ever seen.
“There is a limit to what you can do with a serving president with the secret service in the room.”
He quipped: “You go too hard and it is the last interview you ever do.”
Morgan met Mr Trump in 2008 when he appeared as a competitor on the celebrity version of The Apprentice in the US, which he went on to win.
He said being friends with President Trump actually helped him interview him because their familiarity helped Morgan cut through what he described as “just chat”.
He said: “Plus, with Trump I have a unique relationship with him. It came about because I won Celebrity Apprentice in 2008. That’s when I got to know him.
“I spent three hours with him every night for six weeks and he was nowhere near as terrifying in that environment than he seems to some people as president.
“A lot of it is just chat. You would soon learn that about Trump if you knew him.”
Morgan was in conversation with Loose Women star Christine Lampard on the second day of the three-day RTS Cambridge Conference.