Trump was secretly recorded boasting on speakerphone of how many retweets he got for a post defending Confederate base names

  • A patron in a Washington, D.C., restaurant recorded a speakerphone call between President Donald Trump and a congressional ally then sent it to The New York Times. 
  • In the call Trump boasted about getting 95,000 retweets for a message saying bases named after Confederate figures would not have their names changed. 
  • "I had about 95,000 positive retweets on that. That's a lot," Trump told Sen. James Inhofe. It actually got around 34,000 retweets, with 134,000 likes.
  • The push to rename bases named after Confederacy figures has been resisted by Trump, but is being actively considered by the US military. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump was recorded boasting on speakerphone to a Republican ally about getting thousands of retweets for his enthusiastic support for keeping US military bases named after Confederate officers, The New York Times reported. 

The call was recorded by a patron in an Italian restaurant in Washington DC on Wednesday night, when the president called Republican Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Inhofe, the 85-year-old senior senator from Oklahoma, put the call on speakerphone, The Times said.

The two were overheard discussing the push to give a new name to a Fort Lee in Virginia, which is named after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

"We're gonna keep the name of Robert E. Lee?" Trump asked, in response to which Inhofe said, "Just trust me, I'll make it happen."

Trump responded: "I had about 95,000 positive retweets on that. That's a lot."

The president was apparently referring to a tweet he sent last Friday, in which he claimed that Inhofe had told him "that he WILL NOT be changing the names of our great Military Bases and Forts, places from which we won two World Wars (and more!). Like me, Jim is not a believer in "Cancel Culture".

The tweet did not get 95,000 retweets — as of early Friday the post had around 34,500 retweets, with a further 134,000 likes.

During the conversation the two also reportedly discussed "cancel culture" more broadly, with Trump using an expletive to describe recent cultural debates on racism.  

The push to rename the 10 US military bases named after Confederate figures has become one of the flashpoints of the presidential election.

The US military has said it is actively considering renaming the bases following anti-racism protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, but the president has opposed the move. 

It's not the first time a speakerphone call from the president to an ally has been overheard.

An official at the US embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, told impeachment investigators last year that he had overheard the president talking to EU ambassador Gordon Sondland by phone in a restaurant.

He testified that the ambassador had told the president that Ukraine's president was pressing ahead with an investigation into Trump's rival, Joe Biden. 

Source: Read Full Article