In today’s most bizarre headline, the Washington Post released audio from a 1991 interview between People Magazine reporter Sue Carswell and “John Miller,” an alleged spokesperson for the Trump organization who just so happens to sound a hell of a lot like the reality TV star himself.
In the audio, Definitely-Not-Donald-Trump speaks openly about his boss’s real-estate success (“He’s probably doing as well as anybody there is”), sexual magnetism (“Actresses just call to see if they can go out with him and things”) and that one time he went out with Madonna (“He’s got zero interest in Madonna, it was literally the end”).
The Post reports that dealing with John Miller or John Barron (another name frequently used by some PR guy who definitely wasn’t Donald Trump, though Trump must have really loved the name since he named his youngest son Barron) was commonplace among reporters who had the distinct pleasure of covering Trump. As Marc Fisher writes:
“[The audio] captures what New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career experienced in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: calls from Trump’s Manhattan office that resulted in conversations with ‘John Miller’ or ‘John Barron’—public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump.”
Despite having testified in 1990 that he occasionally uses the moniker John Miller, the Republican nominee called into NBC’s Today show to dispel the rumors that it was, in fact, him in the audio.
“No, it doesn’t sound like my voice at all. I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice, and you can imagine that, and this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams,” Trump said.
“No, it was not me on the phone, and it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I’ll tell you that, and it was not me on the phone,” Trump added. “And when was this? Twenty-five years ago? Wow, you mean you’re going so low as to talk about something that took place 25 years ago about whether or not I made a phone call I guess you’d say under a presumed name.”
Meanwhile, the plot thickens: Sue Carswell, the reporter who interviewed Trump in 1991, told ABC she never shared the audio, adding the recording could only have come from Trump.
Wow, Sue Carswell, reporter whose audio it was tells ABC she NEVER shared audio. Says that recording had to have come from Trump #JohnMiller
— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) May 13, 2016
Of course, Twitter caught wind of this insane story:
Listen to this bizarre audio of Trump posing as his own publicist to brag about money and women https://t.co/BcRLLbOuX4
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) May 13, 2016
Like much of 2016, this is the best while simultaneously being the worst. https://t.co/EE1MnHwIFb
— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) May 13, 2016
Headed on @HLNTV to talk about Trump impersonating his own publicist. Sad. Tremendous. Bad. Weak. Pathetic
— Pete Dominick (@PeteDominick) May 13, 2016
Trump indicated this AM he thought the 1990s recording was too old to ask him about, not like the Clinton WH and Obama birth certificate
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 13, 2016