It’s been reported heavily around the interwebs that today, President-elect Donald Trump met with executives and anchors from the country’s five biggest TV networks at Trump Tower in New York. But with conflicting accounts of what went down at the media meet-up, what the hell actually happened behind closed doors?
The meeting of media bigwigs was itself unprecedented. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to the president-elect, orchestrated the off-the-record event, and she has since described the meeting as “very cordial, candid and honest.”
But then there’s the account of the New York Post, which has reportedly been collected from several anecdotes.
The Post claims Trump used the time to complain about the coverage he received on every network throughout his campaign, even calling out certain reporters by name. If what the Post leads us to believe is true, it’s a “revenge masturbatory fantasy of sorts” (so-called by The Slot) and is truly worthy of Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.
According to the Post, who quotes an anonymous source that isn’t not Donald Trump, Trump sat the 30-odd members of the press from ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC in a boardroom and humiliated them like a dog, as certain sources might say.
“Trump started with Jeff Zucker and said I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,” the Post reports the source said. …
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source, who may—or may not!—be Donald Trump, said.
A second source of the Post corroborates the no-holds-barred free-for-all account:
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong. He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was network of liars.
“Trump didn’t say Katy Tur by name, but talked about an NBC female correspondent who got it wrong, then he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate – which was Martha Raddatz who was also in the room.
Aaaaaaaand then there’s what other sources are saying, namely that “real progress” was made.
CNN’s Brian Stelter has given a completely different account of what went down, which is also backed up by Conway:
[A] source in the room said there was “real progress” made with regards to media access to Trump and his administration.
A second participant affirmed this and said the journalists spoke with Trump about the importance of the “press pool,” a small group of journalists that traditionally travels with the president.
Conway said the meeting was “very cordial, candid and honest.”
While there was “no need to mend fences,” she said, “from my own perspective, it is great to hit the reset button, it was a long, hard-fought campaign.”
So, mere hours after Trump’s unprecedented sit-down with the media, we can’t help but wonder, what the hell really happened? Will we ever know?