Barron Trump wouldn’t say he loved his dad out loud because he was ‘too cool,’ Trump told ABC News journalist Jonathan Karl
- Former President Donald Trump once told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he reminded him of his teenage son Barron who was ‘too cool’ to say he loved his dad out loud
- Karl recounted the March 2020 conversation he had with the then-president in his new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show
- Karl also spoke about it on CNN Tuesday morning, calling it one of the ‘top five’ surreal moments of covering the Trump White House
- ‘Jonathan is very cool. He is like my son,’ Trump said during a meeting in the Oval Office about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
- ‘”Do you love your dad?” “Uh I don’t know.” But he does. But he’s too cool. The kids,’ Trump relayed to Karl
- The comparison was prompted when Karl refused to beg Trump to attend the annual WHCD dinner, which he had skipped the previous three years
Former President Donald Trump once told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he reminded him of his teenage son Barron who was ‘too cool’ to say he loved his dad out loud.
Karl recounted the March 2020 conversation he had with the then-president in his new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, and also spoke about it on CNN Tuesday morning, calling it one of the ‘top five’ surreal moments of covering the Trump White House.
‘Jonathan is very cool. He is like my son,’ Trump said, according to Karl’s book, during a meeting in the Oval Office about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. ‘”Do you love your dad?” “Uh I don’t know.” But he does. But he’s too cool. The kids.’
Former President Donald Trump (right) once told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he reminded him of his teenage son Barron (left) who was ‘too cool’ to say he loved his dad out loud
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl (right) told CNN’s John Berman (left) Tuesday morning that Trump comparing him to his teenage son was one of the ‘top five’ surreal moments of covering the Trump White House
Jonathan Karl wrote about a March 4, 2020 meeting he had with Trump in his new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show
Trump had invited Karl, the Associated Press’ Zeke Miller and CBS News Radio’s Steve Portnoy into the Oval Office on March 4, 2020, to discuss the forthcoming White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
In the three preceding years, Trump had skipped the dinner, however he flirted with going in 2020.
Karl, at the time, was serving as the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, the journalism trade group that hosts the dinner.
‘I had not actually invited Trump. In fact, I had not decided yet whether I would invite him,’ Karl recounts in his book. The veteran White House correspondent said he had decided one thing – ‘I wasn’t going to plead with him to attend.’
Karl said the opening of the meeting was memorable because Trump was joking about the coronavirus, which was beginning to be a problem.
Trump asked Karl if they should shake hands. And then decided that they should.
‘What am I going to catch from you? What the hell am I going to catch from you?’ Karl quoted Trump saying.
From there, Trump wanted to discuss the Super Tuesday primary results, which made now President Joe Biden look like the probable Democratic nominee.
He asked Karl and the other reporters’ their thoughts on Biden versus Bernie Sanders and ‘he called Bloomberg a loser and a schmuck.’
‘A president’s time is his most precious commodity. But Trump seemed like he had plenty of time to sit around and talk politics,’ Karl remarked.
Then the group talked about the dinner, which is always scheduled for late April.
‘How important is it to you for me to come?’ Trump asked Karl.
‘We will respect your decision whether you decide to come or not,’ Karl cooly replied.
‘It would be a very big get for you, Jonathan,’ Trump said of Trump’s own appearance at the dinner.
When Karl didn’t beg, Trump turned to Miller and began comparing the ABC News reporter to his son.
‘Donald Trump, it seemed, was comparing me to his teenage son, Barron – and he was comparing my lack of excitement about his possible appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with his son’s reluctance to say out loud that he loved him,’ Karl wrote in his book.
The comparison didn’t muster any more enthusiasm from Karl he said he, again, told Trump, ‘Well we’ll fully respect whatever you do, obviously.’
From there, Trump talked about the so-called ‘Russia hoax,’ and suggested to the three journalists that Sean Hannity should receive the Pulitzers given to The Washington Post and The New York Times on the topic.
He then switched back to asking questions about the dinner.
‘What is the concept? Am I supposed to be funny up there?’ he asked.
Trump famously was ridiculed by President Barack Obama in 2011 when Obama was at the podium and Trump was in the audience.
The conversation was interrupted by Vice President Mike Pence, who was coming from Capitol Hill and needed to give Trump a coronavirus update.
Karl marveled that Trump made Pence wait, while the president again picked the reporters’ brains about the Super Tuesday results.
‘Looking back on that meeting on March 4, 2020 it is both remarkable and revealing just how detached Trump seemed from the threat of the virus that was about to change life in America,’ Karl wrote.
‘He was jovial, joking about shaking hands,’ he wrote.
Trump had made Pence wait to give him an important update, Karl noted.
‘He simply didn’t seem all that interested in the virus that would come to define his presidency,’ the journalist said.
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