Many of us have criticized President Donald Trump when he contradicts himself or calls facts “fake news.” On Sunday, Trump left many scratching their heads when he categorically denied referring to the the American-born Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, as nasty. What is strange is that (unlike many) I was not particularly aggrieved when Trump made the comment. He was responding to a personal attack attributed to Markle. I would prefer the President not to respond to such comments (particularly before a State visit). I also do not consider it appropriate to attack the London mayor as “a stone cold loser” and comment on internal policies on a State visit. However, the Markle comment was actually restrained for this President. What really bothered me was the denial of the comment just days later.
In an interview with the British Sun tabloid, Trump was asked about that statement of Markle that he is a “misogynist: and that “she’d move to Canada if you got elected; turned out she moved here.”
Trump responded “Well, a lot of people are moving here, so what can I say. No, I didn’t know that she was nasty.”
Now, I remain one of those Americans who is hopelessly uninterested in anything royal and I could not care in the slightest what some Duchess thinks about our president, our country, or frankly any subject.
However, I suddenly cared when on Sunday, Trump tweeted the following: “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty.’ Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!”
What is also curious is that the Sun is not viewed as a liberal newspaper. It is a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdock, the owner of Fox News.
The Sun then released the audiotape.
As often is the case, I tried very hard to understand why Trump would make the denial but also why his associates would encourage people to listen to the tape. The only explanation that I can come up with is that Trump said “she was nasty” which refers to the statement itself. He could argue that saying that someone made a nasty comment is different from saying that they are a nasty person.
Once again, I simply do not understand since I do not see what it is such a towering issue that he referred to an insult toward him as nasty. He could have just left it there. Instead, he is drawing some barely perceptible distinction at best or at worse denying a verifiable fact. I also do not see why churning such controversies has any positive impact for Trump or his soon to be announced campaign for reelection.