Trump releases audio that appears to refute claim he walked out of 2020 question interview

WASHINGTON — An audio recording obtained by NBC News appears to show former President Donald Trump’s high-profile interview with Piers Morgan did not end with Trump’s exit from the set, as edited promotional video clips suggest.

Instead, according to the recording, which was provided by Trump’s spokesperson, the two men thanked each other and laughed at the end of the interview for Talk TV, an affiliate of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Talk TV, which is due to debut on Monday, teased the interview – billed as “the most explosive interview of the year” – in a video summary that is dramatized with cinematic music and portrays Trump as angry. against the content of the questions posed by Morgan. The video and alleged walkout were reported in a New York Post article, which is also owned by News Corp.

“Turn off the camera,” Trump says at the end of the video clip as he appears to rise from his chair. “Very dishonest.”

But the audio at the end of the interview seems to tell a different story. The two men laughed and thanked each other, the recording shows. There is no sign of Trump storming onto the set.

“It was a great interview,” Morgan said in the audio at the end.

Trump agrees with a “yes.”

“Thank you so much. I really appreciate it,” Morgan said.

That’s when Trump says, “Turn off the camera.” By then, the former president had already risen from his chair, according to his communications director, Taylor Budowich, who provided the audio to NBC News.

Budowich alleged that the show’s producers misleadingly edited the video by pinning the sound of Trump saying “turn off the camera” to make it look like he made the statement as he grew angry.

As for Trump’s “very misleading” remarks, he made the comment after a frustrated Budowich called Morgan for prolonging the interview and falsely and repeatedly saying he had one last question, only to ask some. more.

Trump expected the interview to last 20 minutes, Budowich said, but it lasted over an hour. Near the end, Budowich asked the final question, but the audio appears to show Morgan asking several more, including one related to “Celebrity Apprentice.”

“Is that the last question? You’ve said ‘last question’ four times now,” Budowich told Morgan. “So I feel like you’re lying at this point.”

“I’m not lying,” Morgan said.

Trump then said, “Very misleading.”

Morgan then asked more questions.

While the interview seemed awkward, as Morgan called out Trump for lying about the stolen election, his final question was a figurative softball — about the hole-in-one Trump recently bragged about. shooting on a golf course.

“We have nothing to comment on beyond public information (i.e. Piers’ music video and column in the NY Post),” a News Corp spokesperson wrote in an email. email to NBC News. A Morgan producer did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Budowich blasted the company.

“It’s a pathetic attempt to use President Trump as a way to revive the career of a failed television host,” Budowich told NBC News. dishonest to his face and Piers, for the first time in his life, did not disappoint.

The friction during the interview overshadowed a rare admission by Trump that he wishes he had behaved differently in the office – and a familiar defensiveness about his behavior.

“Would I like to be a little different? Yes,” Trump said, according to the recording. “But if I hadn’t acted like I did, it wouldn’t have been a big success.”

Trump said he felt “under siege” early in his presidency as federal and congressional investigators looked into allegations that his campaign worked with Russia in the 2016 election.

“I had to fight back, and I had to fight back hard. If I hadn’t fought back hard, I wouldn’t have survived,” Trump said. “I had two jobs to do: run the country well and the second was to survive.”

At an earlier stage in the exchange, according to video clips released by Talk TV, Morgan told Trump the 2020 election was legitimate – a contradiction to Trump’s ongoing lie that he had been unfairly robbed of a victory electoral.

“It was a free and fair election,” Morgan said. “You lost.”

In clips broadcast by Talk TV, Trump says, “Only a fool would think that.”

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