Trump began his Monday presser by insulting ABC's Cecilia Vega, and then continued browbeating other female reporters who wanted to discuss the Kavanaugh hearing and FBI investigation into Dr. Ford's claims.
After the presser was finished, even Fox News' Outnumbered was unnerved by his attack on Vega.
Co-host Melissa Francis opened up their discussion saying, "Some of the quotes -- Cecilia Vega was the one at the beginning, from ABC News. That was the most contentious when he called on her first and then he said: "she was in shock because I picked her." She said something similar to "I was not thinking of" and he said, "I know you are not thinking, you never do." And she said, "excuse me?" What did you think about all those exchanges?"
David Webb predictably defended Trump saying that's just him.
Francis turned to Katie Pavlich and said, "But the tone with those reporters, especially when he said to her "I know you were not thinking, you never do."
Pavlich said Trump talks to all reporters like that and made a remark that to me sounded like she was telling Melissa to STFU about it because it was stepping on Trump's messaging about the trade deal with Canada.
"Look, I don't think he would've said anything different to Jim Acosta from CNN," Katie said.
She continued, "And he's had this tone since he started out on the campaign trail with reporters. So I think that continuing to focus on it is actually huge distraction away from the news here."'
I was pretty surprised at this exchange. Not one Fox News personality mentioned Francis got the wording wrong.
But then something odd happened.
I saw that Mediaite's Aidan McLaughlin wrote a piece that gives a possible different interpretation of what Trump said to Cecilia.
It’s hard to tell exactly what Trump said to Vega, given the possible interpretations of their exchange, and how hard it is for Trump to operate his mouth.
It’s possible the exchange went as follows, which is a more innocuous interpretation:
Trump: “She’s shocked that I picked her. She’s in a state of shock. Vega: “I’m not. Thank you, Mr. President.”Trump: “That’s okay, I know you’re not thanking. You never do.”Vega: “I’m sorry? Trump: “No, go ahead.”
After I read his piece, I tweeted him asking if he was joking since I clipped the video myself of the exchange and the Outnumbered segment and was certain he was being a jerk to her as he was to CNN's Kaitlin Collins.
I didn't check the WH transcript of the event at that time, but there was a Twitter meltdown when they tried to officially say Trump used the word "thanking."
Finally, the White House acquiesced and changed the transcript back to its original form where they admitted to Trump's awful behavior toward Ms. Vega.
Mediaite updated their post to reflect the WH admission.
As I tweeted Aidan out today, it's important that we remain vigilant in our work when it comes to what all politicians actually say.
Especially Donald Trump. Especially during a contentious Supreme Court nomination which is under review because of sexual assault allegations.
Double negative excuses should not be validated just because it's "plausible" it could have happened.