At a press conference Monday, President Trump insulted an ABC News reporter. But that’s not what the official White House transcript shows.
During the Q&A, Trump called on ABC’s Cecilia Vega. While she waited for a microphone to be passed, Trump said, “She’s shocked that I picked her. She’s, like, in a state of shock.”
Vega said, “I’m not. Thank you, Mr. President,” and started to ask her question.
Trump replied, “I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”
“I’m sorry?” Vega said. Trump told her to proceed: “No, go ahead. Go ahead.”
In the White House transcript, the president’s audible slight to Vega is edited. It reads, “I know you’re not thanking. You never do.”
Trump also initially refused to answer Vega’s question about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, asking why she wasn’t inquiring about trade. “What does that have to do with trade?” Trump said. “I don’t mind answering the question. But, you know, I’d like to do the trade questions, too.”
Later in the day, Vega tweeted, “A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask. #FirstAmendment.”
A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask. #FirstAmendment
— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVega) October 1, 2018
During the press conference, Trump was particularly combative with female journalists. He also engaged in a tense exchange with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, interrupting her question about Brett Kavanaugh by shaking his finger at her and saying “Don’t do that!” before ultimately cutting her off: “You know what, you’ve really had enough. Hey. You’ve had enough.”
Trump ultimately addressed reporters’ questions about Kavanaugh’s drinking, apparently contradicting Kavanaugh’s own testimony before Congress by saying that the candidate had spoken about having issues with drinking in college. (Kavanaugh actually declared the opposite, that he had no drinking problem.)
“I’m not a drinker, I can honestly say I’ve never had a beer in my life,” Trump said. “It’s one of my only good traits. Can you imagine if I had, what a mess I’d be? I’d be the world’s worst.”