On the record

Ex-White House stenographer says Trump avoids being recorded because ‘the truth’ is ‘his adversary’

Beck Dorey-Stein (YouTube)

A former White House stenographer has publicly questioned President Trump’s apparent disdain for having stenographers present to write down his exact words — even though he claims that reporters are misquoting or misrepresenting his statements.

Beck Dorey-Stein, who served as White House stenographer from 2012 through 2017 before resigning during the first month of Trump’s presidency, wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times that the stenos were told to “keep our microphones far away from the president’s face” from the very onset of the Trump administration’s take over of the White House. During subsequent interviews between members of the media and the president, Trump would insist that stenographers not be present — as he did during an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt during which he admitted to firing James Comey as FBI director in part because of the Russia investigation. In another incident, she said she was recording Trump’s interview with since-disgraced Fox News host Bill O’Reilly when Trump insisted that they continue the interview privately in the Oval Office.

“In my five years with President Barack Obama, off-the-record discussions with reporters happened after work hours — not for an hour in the middle of the work day, and certainly not before an interview,” she wrote. “When a president spoke on the record with a reporter, his staff made sure to have a stenographer present so there could be an official White House transcript, just in case the reporter came out with an inaccurate quotation.”

Ironically, she noted, as recently as Friday, Trump was denying having made disparaging comments about British Prime Minister Theresa May in an interview with The Sun — claiming that he always insisted on “[recording] when we deal with reporters” to avoid being misquoted. Trump, she said, was right at least in part — the conversation was recorded, but the recording actually showed that Trump was lying about being misquoted.

“It’s clear that White House stenographers do not serve his administration, but rather his adversary: the truth,” Dorey-Stein concluded.

Watch video of Dorey-Stein elaborating on her claims below.

Read the Op-Ed at The New York Times and further coverage of the story at SFGate.

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