President Donald Trump recently expressed an apparent change of heart about one White House reporter that likely surprised some observers.
After criticizing ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl on multiple occasions, Trump praised him at a press briefing on Friday for his work on a “very good” new book.
“It was better than I thought it would be,” the president said of the new release, titled “Front Row at the Trump Show.”
“I appreciate it”
“It was actually better about me than I thought it would be,” Trump clarified. “I appreciate it.”
Going on to discuss the book, he asked Karl how it had been doing since its release.
“Bestseller,” the author replied. Karl’s book has spent five weeks The New York Times bestseller list.
An Amazon description of the book promises an “account like no other from the White House reporter who has known Donald Trump for more than 25 years.”
Trump reminisced on their decades-long professional relationship, recalling that Karl “took a lot of guff but he also got great ratings” for an interview with him prior to his announcement of a 2016 White House bid.
“Talking to them off the record”
Though the recent praise might be jarring to those who saw Trump call the correspondent a “third-rate reporter” just weeks ago, Karl himself was likely unfazed.
Karl explained in a recent interview that Trump frequently treats members of the press differently depending on the situation.
“He praises me to his friends and then he’ll come out right after and blast me in front of the cameras,” Karl said.
He went on to assert that “the very people by name the president is saying are fake news, are bad for the country, enemies of the people — he is talking to them off the record, giving them information, trying to spin stories, being friendly, and then turning around and claiming that they’re the worst people who ever walked on the earth.”
Whatever Trump’s strategy with the press truly is, plenty of his fans are hoping to see more of it in his second term. Reporters continue to express frustration with Trump, but it might just be because they know he is better at the media game than they are.