Shortly after she said she would vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2019, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan says she got a mysterious phone call. She had also recently condemned Trump for speaking ill of her late husband, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, at a rally.
The caller claimed to be a reporter from the Washington Post, though Dingell did not recognize his name. But he sounded an awful lot like Trump, and the quotes never appeared in a Washington Post story.
That’s according to a Post review of Confidence Man, a new book by New York Times reporter and Trump chronicler Maggie Haberman.
“The man asked Dingell if she was looking for an apology from Trump,” Haberman writes. “No, she replied, merely that people could be civil to one another. As the man talked, Dingell couldn’t shake the idea that his voice sounded like that of the forty-fifth president.”
...from someone claiming to be a Washington Post reporter whose name she didn't know. The more he talked, she couldn't shake the sense that it was President Trump. The quotes never appeared in a story https://t.co/3rNQyPSjaN— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) September 28, 2022
It’s not far-fetched. Starting in the 1980s, Trump used the alias “John Bannon” to lie to reporters about his wealth, and following a lawsuit, Trump admitted as much, testifying under oath in 1990 that “I believe on occasion I used that name.” (Also, Trump’s 16-year-old son is named Barron.)
The new book details other strange claims, including that Trump had to be dissuaded from bombing Mexican drug labs and that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband warned Hillary Clinton that Russians might try to poison Clinton through a handshake with Trump during the 2016 debates.
A Trump spokesman denied the allegations to the Washington Post. “While coastal elites obsess over boring books chock full of anonymously-sourced fairytales, America is a nation in decline,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told the Post. “President Trump is focused on Saving America, and there’s nothing the Fake News can do about it.”
Hmmm, that sure sounds like something Trump would say.
Meanwhile, Haberman is facing backlash for allegedly withholding damning information on Trump to sell her book.