A common complaint by politicians is that they are misquoted by the media. Donald Trump, the tycoon-and-possible-presidential candidate, is not yet a politician, but he’s come up with a new grievance: No one asked for my side of the story.
We were reading an article about Trump in the New York Observer in which he once again claimed that Obama has not fessed up to the truth about his birth certificate. The article said:
"I'm amazed that the press gives him such a free ride on that," he said. When told that the Washington Post fact-checked many of his claims on this issue and found them to be inaccurate, Trump held his ground.
He said the paper should have called him for [his] side of the story.
Hmm, we thought we did call him. In fact, didn’t we quote him in the column, which looked into his assertion (and also Sarah Palin’s claim) that Obama has spent $2 million covering up questions about his birth certificate?
On Monday, we actually contacted two people who work for Trump: Michael Cohen, a spokesman, and Rhona Graff, vice president and assistant to the president (Trump) of the Trump Organization. We asked both the same basic question: “Donald Trump says that Obama has spent more than $2 millions on legal fees on the birth certificate issue. Where does he get that figure from?”
Cohen never responded. However, Graff sent us an e-mail at 5:06 p.m. which said this:
Below is Mr. Trump’s response to your question.
“It is well known in legal circles that this is the kind of time they are spending on the issue. Isn’t it a shame when all he has to do is produce his birth certificate, which he has not done.”
That’s the quote that was used in the article. Obviously, if he had wanted to get on the phone, that would have been preferable. But he chose to give us a statement through an assistant.
The Pinnochio Test
Arguing with Donald Trump about the truth is obviously a fool’s errand. He will say what he wants, even if it is easily proven false.