In her new book about her time on the presidential campaign trail covering Donald Trump, MSNBC host Katy Tur described a series of interactions with a married senior male Trump campaign staffer who asked her where he could meet single women and bragged about “all the women who would want to sleep with him when he became Trump’s White House chief of staff.”
In “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History,” Tur described the aide asking her for help finding “thirty-something single women” after the two discussed Trump’s campaign over drinks in July 2015.
“I looked at my watch. I had dinner with a friend. I need to get out of here,” Tur wrote. “At the door of the restaurant, he had a question for me. ‘Where can I go to meet thirty-something single women?’ ‘You have a wife and kids.’ ‘So what?’ I laughed the way you laugh when your friend’s grandparent makes a racist joke.”
After Tur declined to advise the staffer on this, she said the two remained in touch about the campaign, but that he continued to act inappropriately towards her.
“He was nice for a little while,” Tur said. “But he wasn’t entirely professional. He’d call at late hours, say disparaging things about women I worked with, comment on people’s looks, claim well-respected female reporters were ‘f—ing’ this guy or that one. He’d tell me that he could prove it because he’d seen ‘text messages.'”
In October 2015, Tur contacted the staffer to confirm reports that the Trump campaign had sent Trump-branded water bottles and towels to Marco Rubio, whom Trump dubbed “Sweaty Marco” after a GOP primary debate. In response, the staffer texted, “You need some? I’m sure you get all sweaty sometimes too.”
In another instance, Tur wrote that the staffer “bragged” to her and NBC producer Anthony Terrell about “all the women who would want to sleep with him when he became Trump’s White House chief of staff.”
Tur said that she didn’t make these encounters public at the time — although she considered it — because “ultimately a campaign story isn’t about the staff” and she didn’t want to alienate a useful source.
“Besides, I needed all the perspectives I could get on the candidate,” Tur wrote. “And I thought my viewers did, too.”
The journalist visited more than 40 states as the “Trump correspondent” for NBC News and MSNBC, beginning on June 16, 2015, when Trump descended the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy.
Trump has publicly berated Tur for her critical coverage of him — calling her out by name from the podium at two campaign rallies, in one instance describing her as “Little Katy” — and has accused her of being a “third-rate reporter” and having “no access” to him or his campaign.
On Tuesday morning, following the release of Tur’s book, Trump tweeted: “Fascinating to watch people writing books and major articles about me and yet they know nothing about me & have zero access. #FAKE NEWS!”
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