WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked NBC’s journalistic credibility and called into question the authenticity and legality of the “Access Hollywood” tape leaked during the 2016 election, in an exclusive Oval Office interview with The Daily Caller Tuesday.
The remarks came up in a conversation about NBC’s handling of Ronan Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein reporting. Trump attacked NBC for allegedly quashing its journalists’ attempts to expose sexual assault and harrassment by the movie mogul. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Trump Says Sex Abuse Scandal Is ‘Devastating For Catholic Church’)
“I consider it to be worse than CNN with Harvey Weinstein,” he told TheDC.
The president added, “NBC is very dishonest in its reporting of me.”
Trump also would not call for the dismissal of NBC chairman Andy Lack or an outright removal of the company’s license, but he said, “he runs an organization which as far as its reporting on me is very dishonest.”
He addressed the issue first on Twitter Tuesday morning. (RELATED: Trump Says Bob Woodward Has ‘A Lot Of Credibility Problems’)
“NBC FAKE NEWS, which is under intense scrutiny over their killing the Harvey Weinstein story, is now fumbling around making excuses for their probably highly unethical conduct,” he tweeted. “I have long criticized NBC and their journalistic standards-worse than even CNN. Look at their license?”
NBC FAKE NEWS, which is under intense scrutiny over their killing the Harvey Weinstein story, is now fumbling around making excuses for their probably highly unethical conduct. I have long criticized NBC and their journalistic standards-worse than even CNN. Look at their license?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018
The president also declared that there are multiple unanswered questions about the “Access Hollywood” tape released during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“That tape was, there are even questions about this tape,” Trump said, adding that there are also “real questions about that whole process.”
“I had a lawsuit prepared, a lawsuit that was prepared to be filed against NBC because they leaked that tape,” the president revealed.
Trump speculated that NBC leaked the tape to The Washington Post saying “they gave it to the Washington Post because they couldn’t put it out there themselves cause they would’ve had tremendous liability so they gave it to the Washington Post to put out.”
He continued: “I had a lawyer hired to bring a suit right after the election ended, but one problem arose. I won the election.”
Trump continued that because of his win, he would not have been able to sue for damages.
“What were the damages? I won the election.”
Editors Note: This story has been updated with fuller quotes for more context on the president’s remarks