Pro golfer Suzann Pettersen took to Twitter on Tuesday to refute reports that she said President Donald Trump cheats at golf.
“Sometimes you do interviews and media will twist whatever word/saying to make a headline! It’s shocking to see ... this is what I would call #fakenews. Why would I call someone a cheat. ... never!” the LPGA star said in a tweet.
"Sometimes you do interviews and media will twist whatever word/saying to make a headline! It’s shocking to see ... this is what I would call #fakenews."
The message has since been deleted and replaced with another that directs readers to her Facebook page for a full statement on the matter, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A Norwegian paper, Verdens Gang, interviewed Pettersen on Saturday about her longtime relationship with the president, including their golf outings.
“He cheats like hell ... so I don’t quite know how he is in business. They say that if you cheat at golf, you cheat at business. I’m pretty sure he pays his caddie well, since no matter how far into the woods he hits the ball, it’s in the middle of the fairway when we get there,” Pettersen said with a laugh, according to the article.
The paper later quoted her as saying that Trump has “never come close to breaking 80,” adding that every time they talk he says he “golfed a 69, or that he set a new course record or won a club championship someplace.”
“I just laugh. I’m someone who likes being teased and I like teasing others, and Trump takes it well, and that must be why he likes me,” she said.
However, Pettersen claimed that media outlets reporting her as saying Trump cheats had taken her interview “way out of context.”
“Over the last few days, the media has quoted me that I said President Trump "cheats in golf." Not true at all and this has been taken WAY out of context from a long interview I did last week with a Norwegian media outlet,” Pettersen said in a statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday. “With a big smile on my face what I said was that he most likely paid his caddy well because every time he found his ball it was in the fairway.”
She also called out the media for “twisting things for their readers and viewers.”
Robert Simso, one of the writers of the Verdens Gang article, told Golf.com the paper stands by its account of the interview with Pettersen.
“We of course stand by all the quotes in the story,” Simso said. “I always use a tape recorder in interviews, and this time was no exception.”
Pettersen said she has apologized to the president.