On Wednesday afternoon, British broadcaster Piers Morgan released a video purporting to show former President Donald Trump storming out of an interview with him.
Just hours later, Trump vehemently disputed Morgan’s narrative.
In the promotional video for the “Piers Morgan Uncensored” interview that Morgan shared on Twitter, the former president appeared to angrily leave the sitdown.
“Turn the camera off,” Trump said at the end of the clip. “Very dishonest.”
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2022
Yet the former president released an extended audio clip later Wednesday that painted a very different picture of the interview.
“Piers Morgan, like the rest of the Fake News Media, attempted to unlawfully and deceptively edit his long and tedious interview with me,” Trump said in a statement. “He wanted to make it look like I walked out on the interview when my time limit of 20 minutes went over by an hour.
“The good news is that the interview was taped by us as a means of keeping him honest.”
He added, “For those who want to make Piers look bad, compare his video promo and how it was doctored to the real thing. Hopefully they will now be doing some big changes to their final product. It just shows, however, what I have to deal with in the Fake News Media. He went out of his way to deceptively edit an interview and got caught. That is a big story, isn’t it?”
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) April 21, 2022
At the beginning of the seven-minute audio clip, a male voice told Morgan, “We’re an hour in … we need to rap.” Breitbart reported the voice belonged to Trump’s communication director, Taylor Budowich.
Eventually, Budowich grew frustrated with Morgan for continuing to promise each question would be his last.
“You’ve done ‘last question’ four times now, so I feel like you’re lying at this point,” Budowich said.
Trump agreed and called Morgan “very dishonest.”
In a column for the U.K.’s Sun on Wednesday, Morgan said Trump became “furious” when he asked about the dispute over the 2020 election and said President Joe Biden was the rightful winner. Yet in this audio, it seems as though Trump was more irritated than enraged, and it stemmed from Morgan’s refusal to wrap things up rather than any questions about the election.
“Incensed Trump tried to end things by declaring ‘That’s it!’ before I reminded him that we hadn’t discussed his hole-in-one, which he then sat down again and did – briefly – before abruptly jumping to his feet, looking hateful, and barking at the shocked crew: ‘TURN THE CAMERAS OFF!’” Morgan wrote.
Did Morgan lie about this interview?
The audio casts doubt on this claim. While Trump did agree to answer one final “last question” about his recent hole-in-one, the audio indicates a much-less-contentious scene than Morgan described.
Trump provided about a two-minute answer in which he described his golf achievement in detail, and he thanked Morgan for the interview after he had finished.
“That was a great interview,” Morgan said. “Thank you very much.”
It was at that point, after the interview had concluded and the two had thanked each other, that the former president said, “Turn the cameras off.”
Both the clip Morgan released and the column he wrote painted Trump as angry and confrontational throughout the interview.
In contrast, Trump’s statement and the audio clip his team recorded depict a relatively calm interview.
Trump did seem to get annoyed at times, and Morgan provided his theory as to why that happened in the column. He said just before the interview began, someone sent the former president a list of terrible things Morgan had said about him in the last two years.
If that is true, it could explain why Trump seemed a bit on edge at times. Then again, there are legitimate doubts as to which parts of Morgan’s story are true.
In a subsequent column for The Sun on Thursday, Morgan maintained he had accurately portrayed the interview in the clip he released.
“You said all the things we see you saying in that promo, and they are an accurate representation of the most contentious part of our interview,” he wrote.
Morgan also said Trump left the interview angrily after the two shook hands.
“You contest that our encounter ended acrimoniously, but as the footage clearly shows, your final actions were to tersely snap ‘turn the camera off!’ at my crew, then walk away through a side door loudly muttering ‘so dishonest’ about me,” he said.
“This came after I courteously shook your hand and thanked you for the interview. I was shocked. It was an angry and frankly rude way to end to a volatile interview, where your mood swung wildly between friendly and hostile — particularly towards the end.”
If Morgan is referring to the moment in the above audio clip when Trump said, “Turn the cameras off,” he seems to be misrepresenting it. The former president made the request rather calmly after the two had thanked one another.
At the same time, The Western Journal cannot independently verify the authenticity of the recording Trump released. It is possible the audio recording could have been edited, too.
As Morgan wrote in his column, Trump did call him “so dishonest.” It seemed to be in response to Morgan’s repeated “last questions,” but in the absence of an unedited video of the interview and the aftermath, it is difficult to definitely prove either man’s account of the events.
One thing we do know is that by Morgan’s own admission in Thursday’s column, the sitdown “certainly wasn’t a Trump-bashing interview.”
For that reason, the promo video calling the interview “Morgan vs. Trump” is, at the very least, misleading.