Donald Trump’s insult to a female reporter during a Monday press conference gained viral attention as the clip of the president’s strange dig was replayed across media outlets, but when the White House released an official transcript of the press conference, it was nowhere to be found.
Trump attacked ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega during the press conference that followed the announcement of a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. When Vega was called on to ask a question, Trump claimed that she was flustered and then told her, “I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”
As the Daily Beast noted, the official transcript later released by the White House scrubbed out the out-of-the-blue insult, changing Trump’s words to, “I know you’re not thanking. You never do.”
This is not the first time that the White House has tried to edit an embarrassing moment for Donald Trump out of its official record. As The Atlantic noted, the White House also edited the transcript from a joint press conference with Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in July to hide an answer where it appeared the Russian president admitted to meddling in the 2016 presidential election in order to help Trump win. While it was not clear that Putin understood the question as it was being asked, the White House transcript edited out the entire question from a reporter about election meddling.
As MSNBC noted, the White House also edited out a remark from Donald Trump supporting a vote on a “clean” DACA bill, which was actually against what Republicans had been proposing. Many believed that Trump failed to understand the meaning of a “clean” bill, which would have allowed legislators to vote on the DACA program alone with no other attachments, but the White House removed Trump’s support from its official transcript.
“House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) quickly interjected, reminding the president of what the Republican position is supposed to be, but just as important, if you relied on the White House transcript to learn what was said, you missed a key detail: the president’s ‘Yeah, I would like to do it’ line was missing from the official White House transcript.”
Though Donald Trump’s snide remark to reporter Cecilia Vega did not appear in the official transcript from the White House, the moment has not been forgotten. Many have criticized Trump for his treatment of the press, especially his hostility toward female reporters.