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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/15/18

D-gate: Trump declares Wall Street Journal interview fake news because it's missing a single letter

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By Mark Sumner

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
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The Trump White House has issued multiple attacks on the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, declaring their transcript of a interview with Donald Trump "fake news." And the point of contention, in an 8,500 word interview is a single letter.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
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Donald J. Trump" @realDonaldTrump

The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them "I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un" (of N. Korea). Obviously I didn't say that. I said "I'd have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un," a big difference. Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters...

6:58 AM - Jan 14, 2018

This came after Trump prattled on for an hour and left people in meetings hanging because he was having so much "fun" in his interview, firing off statements like an addled chipmunk. Trump actually went out of his interview with the Journal declaring that he wanted to do "one of these" every month.

But then Trump's interview was published, and someone noticed that most of it was simply nuts.

"Mr. Trump: Just -- and so -- so I was successful, successful, successful. I was always the best athlete, people don't know that. But I was successful at everything I ever did and then I run for president, first time -- first time, not three times, not six times. I ran for president first time and lo and behold, I win. And then people say oh, is he a smart person? I'm smarter than all of them put together, but they can't admit it."

Out of his rants about the importance of windows, the variety of ways Mexico could be forced to pay for his wall, his continuing wish for laws that let him persecute the press more effectively, how Hillary Clinton was "guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty" no matter what anyone said, and the value of America's "violent" and "vicious" rivers, Trump decided that there was just one problem that had to be addressed.

D-Gate may seem trivial ... because it's insanely trivial. And the best example of Trump obsessing over the things that matter least since we spent weeks hearing about his "biggest in history" inauguration.

Why didn't the roiling showcase of disassociation and delusion get more attention? Because the interview was done on the same day as a little meeting with senators presenting a bipartisan compromise on DACA -- a meeting where Trump made that comment about most of the planet. But once people noticed that Trump had given this lengthy interview, the contents seemed ... disturbing.

In addition to giving Hillary Clinton the four-times-guilty verdict, Trump declared that an FBI agent was guilty of "treason," that Democratic Representative Adam Schiff was guilty, that former FBI Director James Comey was guilty, and that we needed changes in the law so Trump could more easily sue news organizations for libel.

Also that Trump was the best businessman, the best athlete, the best at suing people, and the best at being "a cheerleader for the country." Also, he's smarter than "all of them put together," no matter who "them" is, and he knows more about "wedges" than anyone, ever -- though he may have meant he had extensive experience with both the "pitching" and "sand" varieties. He's probably a very good driver.

But out of all that, Trump felt it was that lack of that "d" which made him look bad. The purloined letter came in the midst of this sequence.

Mr. Trump: President Xi has been extremely generous with what he's said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.

I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised.

WSJ: Just to be clear, you haven't spoken to the North Korean leader, I mean when you say a relationship with Korea--

Mr. Trump: I don't want to comment on it -- I don't want to comment, I'm not saying I have or I haven't. But I just don't --

WSJ: Some people would see your tweets, which are sometimes combative towards Kim Jong Un...

Mr. Trump: Sure, you see that a lot with me and then all of a sudden somebody's my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. You give me 30. I'm a very flexible person.

Not only do recordings of Trump's statement lack any sign of this wandering consonant, the Wall Street Journal reporters were surprised enough by Trump's statement that they immediately followed up in the interview -- and Trump didn't "correct" them.

But now he and Sarah Sanders are upset.

"We first contacted the WSJ Friday morning and asked for a correction," Sanders wrote on Twitter. "They repeatedly refused to issue one despite clear audio evidence they'd misquoted POTUS."

Neither the Wall Street Journal's nor Trump's version of the recording contains a trace of a "D," despite Sander's repeated statements. Maybe Donald Trump has the best silent "D." Or maybe that D that's missing goes with the word "bag."


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