- A former White House stenographer says President Donald Trump resists the presence of official White House stenographers in meetings because the truth is his “adversary.”
- Beck Dorey-Stein, who served both President Barack Obama and Trump as a stenographer from 2012 to 2017, recounted Trump’s resistance in a New York Times op-ed.
- She said his press staff waved off having stenographers record interviews with Lester Holt and Bill O’Reilly.
President Donald Trump reportedly resists having an official White House stenographer present in his meetings with reporters because the truth is his “adversary,” a former stenographer wrote in a Tuesday New York Times op-ed.
Beck Dorey-Stein, who served both President Barack Obama and Trump between 2012 and 2017, wrote that given Trump’s fixation with “fake news” and his repeated accusations that reporters fabricate stories, she her and fellow stenographers were confused by his repeated rejections of having stenographers with microphones and recorders present in his meetings to create an official record of what was said.
“We weren’t powerful, but we were respected; George W. Bush used to call out, ‘I love the stenos!’ whenever he saw my boss, Peggy, or her colleagues,” Dorey-Stein wrote. “Our job, after all, was to provide a first line of defence against the press by being present whenever a reporter was in the same room as the president.”
According to Dorey-Stein, press officials made it clear early on in Trump’s administration that he would not tolerate a microphone near his face, and the services of stenographers would be not be needed in Trump’s interview with Lester Holt because “there would be video.” In that interview, Trump admitted to Holt that the Russia investigation played a role in his decision to fire James Comey as FBI director.
Dorey-Stein recounted another unusual episode in which former White House communications director Hope Hicks abruptly pulled Fox News host Bill O’Reilly out of a meeting with Trump that she was recording so he could speak with Trump in the Oval Office privately, without a stenographer present.
“Mr. Trump likes to call anyone who disagrees with him ‘fake news.’ But if he’s really the victim of so much inaccurate reporting, why is he so averse to having the facts recorded and transcribed?”, Dorey-Stein continued. “It’s clear that White House stenographers do not serve his administration, but rather his adversary: the truth.”
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