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White House Officials Found Out About Trump's Interview After The Fact—And They Weren't Happy

White House Officials Found Out About Trump's Interview After The Fact—And They Weren't Happy
Updated 5 months ago

President Trump's impromptu interview with The New York Times last week went viral for all the wrong reasons. With no official presidential staff nearby, reporter Michael Schmidt was able to sit down with the President for an unfiltered 30 minutes, which apparently was news to the White House and led to great consternation.

The interview took place in the Grill Room at Trump's private golf resort Mar-a-Lago. According to the Washington Post, the interview was arranged by Christopher Ruddy, a club member with a high level of personal access to the president, who invited Times reporter Michael Schmidt to lunch at Trump International Golf Club. 

Schmidt talked with Trump over lunch, while the President was still in his golf clothes.

Excerpts from the interview made the rounds online. 

There was this doozy:

“I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice  Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be  treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”

And this one, of course:

"He’s been amazing. And he’s a liberal Democrat. I don’t know him. He’s a liberal Democrat. I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No.  1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if  it was a crime, there was no collusion. And he said that very strongly.  He said there was no collusion. And he has studied this thing very  closely. I’ve seen him a number of times. There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime. But there’s no collusion. I don’t even say [inaudible]. I don’t even go that far."

As soon as word reached the White House that Trump was talking to the Times, they apparently did their best to reach him. Many White House aides, according to The Washington Post, are not fans of Mar-a-Lago, as President Trump is less constrained in the comforts of his personal golf course. 

At one point, Trump’s personal aide interrupted the interview to hand him a cellphone with White House communications director, Hope Hicks, on the line to check in and possibly halt the interview. 

Even after the interview was posted, another White House official was confused, wondering aloud:

“What interview? Today?"

While another frustrated aide called it:


Yes and Yes.

Many on Twitter had thoughts, and they were not kind to the President...

Although he did have his defenders...

Fair point, Jennifer:

Just another day in the life of Trump's White House, I guess.