There’s talk that a Donald Trump secret tape could derail his campaign if it’s released. While the Republican presidential candidate is far ahead of his rivals in the polls and favored to win big on Super Tuesday, a bombshell audio is believed to be in the hands of the New York Times. This is one of the publications Trump has openly targeted when addressing issues he has with the media.
Buzzfeed News reports that the Times is sitting on an audio recording of Trump during an interview at the magazine’s headquarters in Manhattan on January 5. The Democratic candidates for president were in attendance — as well as some Republicans. Some of the meetings were conducted on the record and off the record. It was a chance for candidates to make their pitch for the paper’s endorsement. The particular tape that Republicans opposing Donald Trump want released to the general public is off the record. The material contained on the secret tape is Trump allegedly admitting he’s not standing behind his own immigration stance.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 1, 2016
A portion of Trump’s recording has to do with tariffs on Chinese goods that was released, but it was from the on-the-record part of the session.
Columnist Gail Collins was one of the attendees at the meeting who speculated more in her column.
“The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal,” Collins writes. “So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.”
Sources in the know of the recording and transcript at the Times say the second sentence of Gail’s analysis is more than speculation because it’s “something Trump said about the flexibility of his hardline anti-immigration stance.”
Buzzfeed hasn’t been successful in obtaining the recording since Trump must approve the release of the secret audio. Since it’s off the record, this type of information isn’t disclosed publicly. The Times‘ editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, refused to comment “on what was off the record at our meeting with him.”
“If [Trump] wants to call up and ask us to release this transcript, he’s free to do that and then we can decide what we would do,” Rosenthal said.
It’s unclear what Donald Trump said in the tape about immigration, the wall, or deportations — but Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and others are pushing for Trump to release the audio. Republicans in the establishment are desperate to stop his chances of becoming the next Republican presidential nominee.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 29, 2016
It’s ironic that the Times might have something on Trump after he specifically named them in his rants that the media is scum.
As CNN notes, Trump skewered the press at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, last week.
“One of the things I’m going to do if I win… I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump vowed.
“We’re going to open up those libel laws so when the New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected. We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”
Will Donald Trump’s secret tape come out and be the bombshell that derails his presidential campaign — or just slow it down?
[AP Photo/John Minchillo]