“Totally false!” Donald Trump declares. He’s talking about one of the stories (in this case, a dispute between himself and his Vice President, Mike Pence) in a new book about him by Michael Wolff. It’s not just this one story, book, or writer, though. He continues, “It is fiction, as are so many others [sic] stories written in the vast number of books coming out about me.”
Still, the books he’s talking about often feature interviews with Trump himself, and it’s not like he’s unaware that he’s talking to reporters he’s denigrated in the past. If he truly believes that stories about him — often backed up with video evidence, and even when that’s lacking, testimony from multiple people close to him — are ‘fake news,’ then why would the ex-president, especially when he was still in office and trying to stay there, keep talking to them?
Carol Leonnig, one of the authors of I Alone Can Fix It, a new book that tells the inside story of Trump’s last year as President of the United States, appeared on MSNBC to answer exactly that question.
.@CarolLeonnig provides an inside look into what former President Trump told her about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
— Stephanie Ruhle Reports (@RuhleOnMSNBC) July 23, 2021
The shortest form of the answer is that Trump thinks all publicity is good for him, even when it’s negative. He likes to see his name in print. He loves to hear himself discussed, and to feel important enough to be interviewed, invited onto talk shows and podcasts, and generally be recognized as someone with influence and power.
Leonnig and co-author Philip Rucker have been able to release audio clips from their interviews with Trump, because he was willing to speak on the record — even to a pair of reporters he has previously insulted.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com