Auctioneer Claims He Has a Signed Copy of Trump's Bible From Photo-Op and the White House Just Responded
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.
WH Denies Auctioneer's Claim That He Has A Photo-Op Bible Signed By Trump https://t.co/PbBFZacjSz pic.twitter.com/Fk27UrMqmP
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 8, 2020
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.
Wait, Trump autographed the Bible? https://t.co/esMUyoyI0x
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) September 9, 2020
If Obama had ever AUTOGRAPHED A BIBLE it would have been one of those things — like Benghazi and "guns and religion" — that would be mentioned 100,000 times a day, every day for eternity, by Twitter's brigade of sad grandpas. https://t.co/k9wxjLN3VY
— Lil Semicolon (@PETEKEELEY) September 8, 2020
But others thought it sounded right on-brand, especially since Trump has autographed Bibles before.
For me the bigger deal is that this is completely in character and believable. Even the most outrageous claims about him are now met with "Yeah, that sounds about right". That is how low we have sunk.
— HighSierra (@HighSierra6100) September 9, 2020
It wouldn't be the first time @realDonaldTrump has autographed bibles.https://t.co/23O67qzusC https://t.co/NRkhm0bR0f
— alexandra (@aliemalie) September 8, 2020
Well, he's 'autographed' bibles before....I can't remember the exact situation, but distinctly recall the revulsion I felt learning about it.
— RedDirtGrandma (@dirt_grandma) September 8, 2020
I've seen photos of him signing bibles for people at at least one rally.
30% of Americans polled believe God put him in office.
— Jyl (⧖) (@stuntcat) September 9, 2020
And many people were not buying the White House's denial.
Ok, two things here:
1.) You just know the White House is lying.
2.) The guy calls Trump - wait for it - "a psychotic insect." https://t.co/kPjtLL5KHN
— Vote D on 11-3-20 (@ararubyan) September 9, 2020
First reaction reading headline: You think they'd let *someone else* make money off of that
Second reaction reading article: I absolutely believe someone in the administration would sell them out though
— Vinegar Mike 🏳️🌈 (@VinegarMike) September 8, 2020
but we all know it's true because, they lie.
— pamdixon (@pamdixo46630308) September 8, 2020
Zimet would not confirm how many inquiries he's had for the Bible, but said he's had "a great deal of interest."