Donald Trump was very angry when Forbes magazine dropped him 92 spots on its list of the richest people. His modus operandi is to attack any and all negative coverage on Twitter, and while he may have kept the insult veiled, he did not fail to express his rage on social media.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2017
While the American public may have grown accustomed to the president’s Twitter tantrums (and isn’t that a frightening thought?), Trump has another less publicly well-known method of expressing his anger to outlets who cover him negatively, one that came to light during the 2016 presidential campaigns.
Forbes received a rather mysteriously familiar-sounding voice message on Wednesday night in response to the list they published, as reported by GQ magazine:
‘This message is for anyone in concern. I’m a supporter of Donald Trump. I love him and his very intelligent family. And this is like Forbes Magazine are in conspiracy to break this man financially, it seems. Donald Trump has more money than he ever had. So Forbes making noise about some three point something billion is fake news and therefore Forbes is on the drain-the-swamp list. Steve Bannon will make sure magazines and businesses like you will go down because Donald Trump is very intelligent, very handsome. His children are very beautiful, very handsome. They have the highest IQs than any racist or anybody in this county. And we love him, and he will continue to run this country, and his children will too. So f*ck Forbes Magazine, and you can stick that fake news up your a**.’
Someone left this voicemail at Forbes' front desk last night. For the record, there is no conspiracy. We just count the numbers. pic.twitter.com/EGY1fi8rJL
— Dan Alexander (@DanAlexander21) October 18, 2017
The message sounds like something one of Trump’s unhinged supporters might say, but is also sounds suspiciously like President Trump himself. If it is the president, it would certainly not be the first time he’s pulled this stunt.
Keith Olbermann covered a story during the 2016 presidential campaigns that dug up an admission by Trump that he would call in to news stations, business, and media outlets using pseudonyms like John Barron or John Miller to plant positive or rage against negative stories and coverage about himself, his businesses, and his sexual prowess. It wasn’t just Olbermann who reported on Trump’s admission, either. The story of Trump’s head-scratching admission was covered by outlets like The Washington Post, Vice, Fortune, and CNN.
The defense also rings with familiar points: Trump has an outstanding IQ. He is incredibly handsome. Everything negative written about him, even by outlets like Forbes using financial data and hard evidence to back it up, is nothing more than “fake news.”
As GQ points out, there’s no way to know whether or not it is actually the president behind the call.
‘This is probably just an angry Trump supporter, venting on behalf of the politician they support, but isn’t it crazy that we live in a world where it wouldn’t be at all out of character for this to literally be a voice mail from the president in disguise? I mean the obsession with how intelligent and rich he is?’
It’s not out of character for Trump at all.
Featured image via Getty/Mandel Ngan