The White House is pushing back against a Los Angeles auctioneer's claims that he has the Bible President Trump used in his infamous photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington earlier this summer.
The auctioneer, Gary Zimet, claims that President Trump autographed the Bible before sending it to him via a contact Zimet had in the White House.
But a White House spokesman has said that Zimet's claim is untrue.
Zimet, who is a curator at Los Angeles autograph dealer Moments in Time, recently told Page Six that he had finally received the Bible after trying to get the White House to send him since the event happened in June.
"A few days after Trump famous photo opp with the Bible in front of the church I had a contact of mine in the White House get him to sign it. It took forever to get in contact with them to send it to me but I will have it for auction on Tuesday."
But in an email to Talking Points Memo, White House spokesperson Judd Deere denied Zimet's claims, stating simply:
"It's not true."
Deere later clarified that Zimet does not have the Bible and that it is not up for auction, but did not offer details on whether the President had autographed it.
Despite the White House's denial, in a phone call with TPM, Zimet re-affirmed his version of the story, and was emphatic about the Bible's authenticity.
"I've been in business for 40 years, my dear, and I know autographs."
Zimet expects the Bible to fetch a high price, given its role in what briefly became a scandal when it was revealed that Trump had police tear-gas protestors, who were peacefully sitting on the ground at the time, in order to disperse them from in front of St. John's so that he could be photographed with the Bible.
Zimet, who clarified that he is no fan of Trump's, whom he called a "psychotic insect," told Page Six the Bible's significance rests in the outrageous nature of Trump's stunt.
"...[G]iven what Trump has done during protest and being in the White House the fact that he would dare to sign a Bible is extraordinary."
On Twitter, many people were shocked by the notion of Trump signing the Bible.
But others thought it sounded right on-brand, especially since Trump has autographed Bibles before.
And many people were not buying the White House's denial.
Zimet would not confirm how many inquiries he's had for the Bible, but said he's had "a great deal of interest."