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White House Changes One Letter on Official Transcript of Press Conference to Make Donald Trump's Insult of Female Reporter Seem Not That Bad

The White House official transcript of Donald Trump's trade press conference originally misquoted the president after he hurled an insult at a female reporter asking about the FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Calling on ABC's Cecilia Vega, the president said: "Yeah. Go Ahead. Sure. She's shocked that I picked her. She's like in a state of shock."


Vega replied: "I'm not. Thank you, Mr. President."

Here's where it gets funky. The official transcript had the president saying:

"That's okay. I know you're not thanking. You never do."

To which Vega replies: "I'm sorry?"

Then Trump concludes: "No, go ahead. Go ahead."

VOANews's Steven Herman quickly pointed out the error.

"I was sitting just behind her in the Rose Garden," Herman tweeted, "and we all clearly heard him say: 'I know you're not thinking. You never do.''

Video of the exchange corroborates Herman's account. Trump can clearly be seen and heard saying: "That's okay. I know you're not thinking. You never do."

Steve Herman, who originally reported the misquoted transcript and sent an inquiry to the White House about it, later revealed that the White House had corrected the transcript to reflect the president's insult.

This has since been confirmed by CNN.

Few thought the "misquote" was an accident, however.

The sleight of hand doesn't even make sense, in context.

The Daily Show spoofed it, naturally.

Some viewed the blip, thought later fixed, as part of something bigger, specifically, that Trump intentionally wants people to be confused over what reality is.

Their fears are hardly unwarranted. In July, Trump told an audience at a rally in Missouri what the press reports “is not what’s happening.

"It’s all working out. Just remember: What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening," Trump declared. “Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news."

This Orwellian attitude for many is deeply disturbing.

One burning question remains.

It very well may be, but the law is a bit ambiguous. Presidential speeches, declarations, and even tweets are considered official records under the Presidential Records Act.

According to the Department of Justice, anyone who "willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys (any record) shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States."

The key is whether there was intent to mislead the public. Deleting a tweet with a typo and posting a corrected version is one thing. Rewriting history may prove to be quite another.