A recording obtained by The Washington Post captures what New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career experienced in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: calls from Trump’s Manhattan office that resulted in conversations with “John Miller” or “John Barron” — public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself, according to the journalists and several of Trump’s top aides.
In 1991, Sue Carswell, a reporter at People magazine, called Trump’s office seeking an interview with the developer. She had just been assigned to cover the soap opera surrounding the end of Trump’s 12-year marriage to Ivana, his budding relationship with the model Marla Maples and his rumored affairs with any number of celebrities who regularly appeared on the gossip pages of the New York newspapers.
Within five minutes, Carswell got a return call from Trump’s publicist, a man named John Miller, who immediately jumped into a startlingly frank and detailed explanation of why Trump dumped Maples for the Italian model Carla Bruni. “He really didn’t want to make a commitment,” Miller said. “He’s coming out of a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially.”
Miller turned out to be a remarkably forthcoming source — a spokesman with rare insight into the private thoughts and feelings of his client. “Have you met him?” Miller asked the reporter. “He’s a good guy, and he’s not going to hurt anybody. . . . He treated his wife well and . . . he will treat Marla well.”
Some reporters found the calls from Miller or Barron disturbing or even creepy; others thought they were just examples of Trump being playful. Today, as the presumptive Republican nominee for president faces questions about his attitudes toward women, what stands out to some who received those calls is Trump’s characterization of women who he portrayed as drawn to him sexually.
Two things: One, yes, the Post is right here, this is empirically relevant to Trump's presidential campaign, and two, you've been sitting on this phone sock puppet story for 25 years, guys? Really?
God our media sucks. By the way, Trump may have brought this on himself:
Donald Trump on Thursday night lashed out at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, arguing that Bezos bought the Washington Post to gain political power and keep Trump from cracking down on Amazon as president.
"Every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post asking ridiculous questions and I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed," Trump said when Fox News' Sean Hannity asked about a comment from Bob Woodward that the Post had assigned 20 reporters to cover Trump.
"He’s worried about me," Trump added. "He thinks I would go after him for antitrust because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much."
Trump said that Bezos bought the Washington Post "for practically nothing and he’s using that as a tool for political power against me and against other people and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it."
So Trump says he's going after the press on Thursday, specifically the Washington Post, and the next morning we get the Washington Post going right back at Trump with this fake spokseman story.
It turns out that the only thing that will make our media do its job is assholes like Trump threatening their parent companies.
That's just depressing, really.