Apparently President Donald Trump’s plan for when he gets caught saying something stupid or self-incriminatory on tape is just to pretend the tape was doctored. Sadly, that’s not even a little bit surprising. I’ve always assumed that if the infamous “pee tape” ever was released Trump would just say it was all CGI.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Lester Holt “fudged” the tape from when he interviewed Trump about Comey’s firing and the Russia investigation.
What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2018
What he’s referring to is the May 2017 Holt interview after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The White House had said that Trump let Comey go because of a recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but Trump said no, that wasn’t it, and that he was planning to fire Comey regardless.
Trump’s exact words were:
He made — he made a recommendation, he’s highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy, uh, the Democrats like him, the Republicans like him, uh, he made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.
The Holt interview aired on Nightly News and NBC News published a longer version online. There is absolutely zero evidence that anything was changed or tampered with in any way. But that doesn’t stop him from making that accusation. He did something similar with the Access Hollywood tape (you know, the “grab ’em by the pussy” one). First, he apologized for using what he called “locker room” language, but then he said he wasn’t altogether sure it was even his voice on the tape. It’s infuriating.
In this case, Trump doesn’t give any specifics on how the tape might have been “fudged.” There’s also never been any implication that Holt changing the interview in any way, and Holt has never been “caught” or “hurt badly.” It’s clear Trump is just saying this to confuse people into thinking that there was a controversy over the tape and the interview. It’s just another part of his campaign to make the American people distrust the media, or what Trump calls “Fake News.”