President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday with a cryptic missive about authors who write about him even though they “know nothing” about their subject, but he may not have been simply referring to his old campaign rival.
“Fascinating to watch people writing books and major articles about me and yet they know nothing about me & have zero access," Trump tweeted. "FAKE NEWS!”
Hillary Clinton’s widely publicized “What Happened” was released on Tuesday, but closer analysis shows Trump probably wasn’t only referring to her when he sent his book-bashing tweet. NBC News reporter Katy Tur, who also released a book on Tuesday, titled, “Unbelievable: My front-row seat to the craziest campaign in American history,” is just as likely a target of the commander-in-chief's latest 140-word broadside.
Tur was embedded with the Trump campaign throughout 2016 and it’s safe to assume the president wasn’t her biggest fan. He specifically called her out during numerous rallies, referring to her as “little Katy” and a “third-rate reporter.” Trump appeared to enjoy targeting Tur as an example of what he considered biased media and "fake news."
“At first he was very charming and when he realized that his charm wasn’t going to change my reporting, he would go on the attack, but he switched back and forth like that throughout the entire campaign."
Tur’s new book details her time on the campaign trail, including being reprimanded by then-campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski for a perceived lack of respect during an interview with Trump. Tur also claims that a Trump aide told her, off the record, that ‘Mr. Trump wants you to go f--- yourself.’”
Clinton’s book is also packed with disparaging stories about the president, but Tur’s is more likely to be what Trump was talking about when he wrote “FAKE NEWS” in the early morning tweet. In an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show to promote her book, Tur took more shots at Trump. She reminded viewers that most political watchdogs considered a reality TV star running for president “hilarious” and said that he has “mood swings,” characterizations sure to rankle Trump.
“At first he was very charming and when he realized that his charm wasn’t going to change my reporting, he would go on the attack, but he switched back and forth like that throughout the entire campaign,” Tur told Matt Lauer.
At campaign rallies, Tur said, Trump would fire up crowds by mocking the media in ways she feared could inspire a supporter to act on. She also told Lauer that it was “jarring” and “scary” when Trump singled her out at campaign rallies.
“It was one of those feelings that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake,” said Tur said, who was long linked romantically to GQ web host Keith Olbermann, one of Trump's most vocal critics in the media.
Tur also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, although the president has proclaimed he doesn’t watch his former allies anymore. Axios recently reported that he “hate” watches the program on occasion – so perhaps he was tuned in when the NBC News correspondent implied Trump tried to intimidate her with his campaign rhetoric. Or when she basically called him a liar.
“He did not tell the truth on the campaign,” Tur told the MSNBC morning show.