Former President Donald Trump reportedly told Vice President Mike Pence that gay people are big fans of his, according to a new book by Maggie Haberman, a reporter for The New York Times.
In the book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, Haberman details Trump’s behavior and actions throughout his presidency.
In one excerpt from the book, obtained by Newsweek, Haberman describes an exchange Trump had with conservative donor and philanthropist Paul Singer, who has a gay son.
According to the excerpt, while Trump, Pence, and their aides prepared for a press conference, Trump chatted up Singer, asking him: “How conservative are you?”
Singer replied that he was quite conservative on economic issues but more moderate on other issues, such as gay rights, noting that he had been involved in efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in individual states. According to The Washington Post, in 2012, Singer started American Unity PAC, a political action committee designed to support LGBTQ-friendly Republicans in state legislative elections.
Trump followed up by asking Singer if he was gay, to which he replied he wasn’t, but his son was.
Pence began to leave the room, at which point, Trump allegedly gestured toward the vice president and said, ‘you’re not like those guys, that kind of conservative?”
He then added, “the gays, they love me,” noting that the line in his GOP convention speech that received the most applause was a vow to “protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology” — a reference to the Pulse nightclub shooting and the threat radical Islam poses to LGBTQ rights.
Trump also asked Singer to join him for the press conference, but Singer declined, saying he was a low-profile person and was heading back to New York City.
Haberman’s anecdote about Trump seems to mirror a story from a 2017 artice in The New Yorker, which claimed that the former president mocked Pence’s right-wing Christian beliefs, such as overturning the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and opposing gay rights.
According to The New Yorker, a conservative legal scholar reportedly told Trump that that scrapping the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion would do nothing, as states would enact their own abortion laws, which prompted Trump to say to Pence: “You see? You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.”
During the course of that conversation, which eventually turned to gay rights, Trump reportedly gestured to Pence and joked about his vice president’s views on gays, saying: “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!”
Then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuted those claims, saying that Jane Mayer’s article “relied on fiction rather than facts.”
In another excerpt from Confidence Man released to the media prior to its Oct. 4 release, Haberman claimed that Trump had a mild obsession with knowing who in his circles was gay, and mocked gay men behind their back.
Trump has criticized Confidence Man and Haberman, writing on Truth Social, “Maggot Hagerman [sic] of the Unfunded Liability plagued New York Times is my self appointed Biographer, even though she got the Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax & the Mueller Report conclusion completely wrong, & refused to write about the FACT that the Democrats spied on my campaign, Lied to Congress, & Cheated and Lied to the FISA Court.”
Trump was referencing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged links between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, and the fact that two warrants obtained to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page were later deemed to be invalid because the government made “material misstatements” in their effort to obtain them, reports Newsweek.
“Maggot was also duped on Impeachment Hoax #1 & Impeachment Hoax #2, & said in 2016 that, ‘Trump will NOT run for President,'” Trump added in his Truth Social post. “She is a bad writer with very bad sources!”
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