Monday, November 21, 2016

Trump Did Not Explode in Anger, Aide Claims

Via Fusion.
They know how to write headlines at The Guardian:

Trump did not ask Argentina's president for business favor, spokesman says

Right-oh. This story comes from the award-winning Argentine journalist Jorge Lanata, best known for his investigations in the 2013 K-money scandal of embezzling and laundering money from public works projects in which the late president Néstor Kirchner and his wife the ex-president Cristina de Kirchner may be involved—the official (as opposed to journalistic) investigation is ongoing.

So somebody on current president Mauricio Macri's staff told Lanata that when Macri called Trump to congratulate him on November 14, Trump asked him to help out getting a construction permit for a 35-story Trump Office building in Buenos Aires, and Lanata reported it Sunday on his TV show, Periodismo para Todos:
“Macri told Trump that Argentina is welcoming foreign investment now, and Trump replied that he has a $150m investment in Argentina stalled because of a building permit in Buenos Aires,” journalist Romina Manguel, who described the alleged conversation on the programme, told the Guardian.
But Macri's spokesman said it never happened, so that's a relief. Nobody's denying that Trump put Ivanka on the phone with Macri—he's known her since she was a baby, when his father (real estate mogul Francisco Macri) and her father were negotiating over what was then called the Lincoln West package and is now known as Trump Place on Manhattan's West Side (the buildings that just successfully sued to get Trump's name off their façades).

No, I'm sure Trump and Macri couldn't have been doing anything so crude as talking about a real estate deal. They must have been chatting about the geopolitics of which Trump has such a deep knowledge (more than the generals!).

By the same token, I'm glad to hear from Kellyanne Conway that Trump "did not explode in anger", contrary to the allegations of the Washington New York Post (as reported in The Hill) about this afternoon's off-the-record session between the Trump and the US press:
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room full of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong,'" the [Post's] source said. "He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. Trump didn’t say [NBC reporter] Katy Tur by name, but talked about a female correspondent who got it wrong. 
Au contraire, says Kellyanne, nothing of the sort happened. Then she pointed out that nobody should say whether she's lying or not, because
"I sat right to his left. He did not explode in anger. By the way, it's an off-the-record meeting so whoever said that and mischaracterized it should think twice."
I think the rules about off-the-record reporting are mostly about reporters characterizing what they heard correctly. It seems pretty weird to have a rule against lying about what you promised not to tell the truth about.

Who are you going to believe, your own lying memory that Trump has been screaming precisely those accusations at the press for months, or Kellyanne?

Update: I was wrong about the source of the explosion story, which was the Trump-friendly New York Post, not the snooty Washington one. Steve M doubts some of the story as printed, suggesting that the Post's source was working a little too hard to make Trump sound macho (or as I proposed in comments the leaker was John Barron if you know what I mean and I think you do). In reality he was indeed out of control, but less exploding than whining.

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