President Donald Trump has spent his first several weeks in office waging constant attacks on the credible journalists. Now, however, it seems that Trump has finally found a journalist he likes.
Harvey Levin is America’s leading promoter of gossip and scandal, best known as the founder of celebrity news site TMZ. Levin specializes in coming up with hyper-sensationalized versions of news stories.
He is not known for telling the whole truth, to say the least.
But even though Trump can’t find a single moment to be civil with a real journalist he apparently called Levin in for a private White House interview last week. The meeting was kept off the official White House itinerary in an apparent move to hide it away from the public eye.
Why didn’t the White House want the public to know that Trump was meeting with the TMZ founder? Is it possible that the two of them are teaming up to take Trump’s misinformation campaign to a whole new level?
Mr. Trump, in a meeting last Wednesday that went unmentioned on his public schedule, spent about an hour in the Oval Office chatting with Harvey Levin, the tabloid emperor whose Los Angeles-based news site and television show are leading purveyors of gossip and scandal.
Face time with the leader of the free world is a coveted commodity, and Mr. Trump has granted few one-on-one interviews with journalists since taking office. But he and Mr. Levin have some history: The TMZ chieftain interviewed Mr. Trump for a Fox News special, “Objectified: Donald Trump,” that aired last fall.
“The show was a huge success, and the two were discussing future opportunities,” Hope Hicks, a White House spokeswoman, wrote by email on Tuesday.
… Mr. Levin, 66, visited the day after Mr. Trump’s first formal address to Congress, and was given a warm White House welcome. He received a tour of the presidential residence, including a stop in the Lincoln Bedroom — photographs of which he proudly showed to friends after returning to Los Angeles, one of the people said. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to share details of conversations that were intended to be private.
Repeated inquiries to Mr. Levin and TMZ brought no response.
Considering Donald Trump grew his fame with a reality TV show, maybe it’s not surprising that he’s turning to a celebrity gossip spinmaster to get media and public relations advice.