Trump: Interviews Granted for Books About My Presidency Were 'Total Waste of Time'
Former President Donald Trump said Friday that granting interviews in recent months for forthcoming books about his administration was "a total waste of time," The Washington Post reported.
Trump released a statement that took aim at writers producing what he called "pure fiction," according to the Post.
"It seems to me that meeting with authors of the ridiculous number of books being written about my very successful Administration, or me, is a total waste of time," Trump said.
"These writers are often bad people who write whatever comes to their mind or fits their agenda. It has nothing to do with facts or reality."
Trump singled out Michael Bender, senior White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
In a Thursday WSJ essay on his forthcoming book, Bender recounted a 2018 incident in which Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence allegedly sparred over the hiring of Trump advisor Corey Lewandowski by Pence's PAC.
Bender wrote that Trump told Pence the move to hire Lewandowski was "disloyal," and threw a crumpled newspaper article at the vice president.
Pence reportedly then tossed the article at Trump, and said hiring Lewandowski was done at the suggestion of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The Post said that Trump, in a separate statement released through his Save America political action committee Friday, called Bender a "third-rate reporter" and said it was "totally false" he and Pence had a fight over Lewandowski.
Bender took to Twitter to defend himself while sharing Trump's statement.
"I stand by my reporting. The fight happened in front of others and multiple sources confirmed. It is correct — and just one of many revealing details in the excerpt and still unreported in the book,” Bender tweeted Friday morning.
Late last month, Axios reported Trump had granted at least 22 interviews for 17 different books since leaving office, with discussions mostly on the record for use when the books are published.
Trump has given authors many "nuggets" that "will definitely make news" during interviews at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, according to Axios sources. Although the former president makes every interrogator feel like he or she is getting something new, the report said there's "quite a bit of overlap in the 'scoops.'"
Axios said New York Times Washington correspondent Maggie Haberman's book, due next year, is the book many Trump insiders are awaiting most eagerly.
Bender was among five authors given two interviews each, according to Axios. The others included Haberman, Michael Wolff, former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, and The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway, whose "Rigged" is due Sept. 21.