President Trump insults reporter during exchange at news conference
During a Monday press conference, President Donald Trump called on ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega and said she seemed “shocked” that she was chosen.
“She’s shocked that I picked her,” he said. “She’s, like, in a state of shock.”
“I’m not,” Vega said as she prepared to ask Trump a question on the grounds of the White House. “Thank you, Mr. President.”
“I know you’re not thinking,” Trump was heard answering. “You never do.”
She asked “I’m sorry?” before the president urged her to “go ahead.”
That comment about “not thinking” set off a firestorm of reactions on Twitter, with many accusing the president of acting disrespectfully to a professional woman.
But then some reporters noticed some odd: The official White House transcript that was sent out to members of the media initially recorded Trump as saying that Vega is “never thanking” — and not “thinking,” according to MSNBC. It could be a typo, the outlet conceded.
Steve Benen, a producer for The Rachel Maddow Show, wrote for MSNBC that he will “gladly concede that it’s possible that yesterday’s misleading edit to the transcript was accidental.”
“Sure, that’d be quite a coincidence, touching up the transcript in such a way as to obscure Trump publicly belittling a woman reporter for no reason,” he wrote, “but I can’t definitely say whether this was an inadvertent error or a deliberate attempt at deception.”
Then, later Tuesday morning, CBS reporter Kathryn Watson noted on Twitter that the transcript was changed to what Trump initially said. It no longer had a reference to “thanking,” and instead affirmed that Trump said the reporter was “never thinking.”
After the president’s jab, Vega took to Twitter to say she was going to keep doing her job.
“A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask,” she wrote. “#FirstAmendment”