Reporter: Here’s the story behind Trump’s dismissing White House as a ‘dump’

Gabby Kaufman
Reporter

President Trump pushed back Wednesday against a report that he had called the White House a “dump” with a tweet extolling the presidential residence.

“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,” Trump tweeted Wednesday night.

The president was referring to a Golf magazine article, published online earlier in the day, that claimed he told members of his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, “That White House is a real dump.”

In a companion podcast, the reporter who wrote the story, Alan Shipnuck, said he received a “confrontational and rude” phone call from White House aide Hope Hicks, who demanded the line be retracted. Shipnuck said he told 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. It was a moment of candor.”

Shipnuck added that at a later visit to Bedminster, “two or three different other sources” corroborated the story.

“This is certainly a moment that has already passed into legend at Trump Bedminster,” he said.

Trump and the White House have an occasionally tenuous relationship with the truth. On Wednesday, for example, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted that, despite Trump’s claims, neither the head of the Boy Scouts of America nor Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had recent phone calls with the commander in chief.

Given Trump’s love of golf, it’s likely that more sports reporters will get angry calls from the White House.

Since taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Trump has continued to enjoy frequent visits to his own golf resorts. He’s set to clear out from the West Wing and embark on a 17-day vacation to Bedminster Friday.

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