Sunday, June 02, 2019

I didn't know you were on Moscow's payroll!

It's got to be a rough day at the Fair 'n' Balanced office when you draw the short straw and your story is headed for the No. 2 position on the homepage anyway:

Donald Trump denied calling Meghan Markle "nasty."

Um, stop the press!

Last week, it was reported that Duchess Meghan, 37, would skip out on events with President Trump during his state visit to the U.K., citing maternity leave following the birth of her and Prince Harry's son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

An interview she'd done previously while promoting "Suits" resurfaced at the time, in which she'd called Trump "misogynistic ... and so vocal about it," adding, “I’m voting for Hillary Clinton, not because she is a woman, but because Trump has made it easy to see that you don’t really want that kind of world that he’s painting.”

... In an interview with The Sun on Saturday, Trump reportedly said he was "shocked" by Duchess Meghan's remarks.

“I didn’t know that. What can I say? I didn’t know that she was nasty," Trump reportedly told the outlet. When confronted with the fact that she wouldn't be seeing him during his state visit, he replied, “I didn’t know that. I hope she is OK.”

The interview was published Saturday, and given the (ahem) ownership structures of Fox News and The Sun, it does seem a bit odd that Fox took until Sunday to get  on board. Much of Trump World was busy with the story on Saturday, including @TrumpWarRoom ("Warning: This account punches back 10 times harder"):
And by Sunday, the Dear Leader himself had caught up:

On Sunday morning, however, the POTUS changed his tune.

"I never called Meghan Markle 'nasty,' he tweeted. "Made up by the Fake News Media, and they caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!"

Well -- not so fast, but let's let our Fox writer finish:

Despite his denial, there is an audio recording circulating of President Trump saying the exact quote about Duchess Meghan that had been reported.

Yes, and one of the places the audio recording is "circulating" is The Sun -- the very Murdoch tabloid that published the interview.

The Fox reporter, perhaps aware that a first-class ticket on the unheated cattle train to Siberia awaits if the account misses but in the estimation of a hair, avoids taking a stand on whether Trump is lying or not in his denial. It's true that he "never called Meghan Markle 'nasty'" -- at least, within the "never" of the interview. But let's consider "I didn't know [ ] was [ ]" in some other circumstances:

I didn't know it was loaded -- It was loaded, and I deeply regret that I stuck it in my waistband while drunk.

Meghan! I didn't know you were here! -- You're here, and somebody else actually said it, OK?

Mr. Vice President! I didn't know you were on Moscow's payroll too! -- Wow, that one's tough.

So, no, he didn't technically, quote-unquote, say "Meghan Markle is nasty." But if you want to apply for that endowed chair in pragmatics at the Trump University Department of Linguistics, it's time to work on the CV.

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