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The White House keeps editing its transcripts in curious ways

05 October 2018

The press conference, which was about the new trade deal between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, features a moment in which President Donald Trump called on a female reporter for a question.

He called on Cecilia Vega, a White House reporter for ABC News, and baselessly insinuated she was "shocked" that he had tapped her.

"I'm not, thank you, Mr President", the White House reporter responded.

Trump drew criticism for the comment, and a surprised response from Vega during the press conference.

"That's OK, I know you're not thinking", responded Trump, who apparently misheard her. When confronted with questions about the sexual assault investigation that his supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is now undergoing, Trump's demeanor changed, and he became rather defensive.

Trump appeared to misunderstand her, believing her to say "I'm not thinking".

In a highly professional manner Vega continued with her question on the controversial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the US Supreme Court.

On several occasions, President Donald Trump has disrespected members of the media. "You never do", Trump shot back.

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Following the conference, Vega posted a tweet stating that any question can be asked at press conferences but did not comment on Trump's "You never do" remark. The president said he had "no problem" with that.

Vega later addressed the exchange on Twitter, saying she believed the President had clearly heard her questions.

"Can you imagine if I had, what a mess I'd be?"

When Collins protested, Trump wagged a finger and said, "Don't do that".

But that was not the exchange originally printed on the White House transcript.

"I wouldn't mind that at all", Trump said.

Trump also told reporters that he had seen many senators in "very bad" circumstances, hinting that he'd seen many of them seriously drunk. "You've had enough. You've really had enough".

When the White House distributed a transcript of the meeting to media contacts, the line was different, with an incongruous "thanking" substituted for "thinking". "I'm not giving it to you".

The White House keeps editing its transcripts in curious ways