President Donald Trump used his Twitter account to attack a report in the news media as 'fake news' once again. His target was a report in Sports Illustrated that he had told guests that he thought the White House was a "dump."
"I love the White House," he responded, "one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen."
I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump - TOTALLY UNTRUE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2017
"But Fake News said I called it a dump - TOTALLY UNTRUE," he said.
The Sports Illustrated report included the short quote allegedly attributed to the president. "That White House is a real dump," he is said to have told multiple guests.
Alan Shipnuck, the author of the piece, related how Trump's top aide Hope Hicks called him to dispute the story.
"I had a conversation with Ms. Hicks as well, which was quite enlightening," he said, "the confrontational and rude tone of the phone call. They definitely don’t waste any time trying to be charming or friendly, these people in the White House communications department.
"She tried the same line on me, 'That’s a lie and needs to be retracted.' I explained to her: It’s not a lie. The president said this in front of eight or nine members and staffers at [Trump] Bedminster. It was his first visit to the club after he had been residing in the White House," he continued.
"It was a moment of candor," he added. "Someone who was a part of that conversation relayed it to me. I found this person to be an extremely credible source on any number of topics."
Shipnuck said he heard the quote from 2 or 3 different sources, and only inserted the denial from the White House as a courtesy despite the "nasty phone call" from Hicks.
"It might be inconvenient for her boss and she might wish he didn’t say it, but it’s not a lie," he concluded. "It was a little insight into how the Trump media operation works coming out of the White House."