The White House admits Trump fabricated phone call from Boy Scout leaders, Mexico president

Donald Trump spoke of two phone calls he got. But, as the White House confirms, he never got those phone calls

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published August 3, 2017 9:12AM (EDT)

Donald Trump speaks during an energy roundtable (AP/Evan Vucci)
Donald Trump speaks during an energy roundtable (AP/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump's own White House has undercut his stories about two supposed phone calls from the Boy Scouts and the Mexican president.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted during her daily press briefing on Wednesday that Trump had not received phone calls from either the Boy Scout leader or President Enrique Peña Nieto. Although she admitted that there had not been any phone calls, she stopped short of confessing that the exchanges were entirely fabricated. In addition to claiming that "multiple members of the Boy Scouts leadership" had praised Trump in person for his controversial Boy Scouts speech last week, she argued that Nieto had discussed border enforcement with Trump during the G20 summit meeting in Germany last month.

"I wouldn’t say it was a lie — that’s a pretty bold accusation. The conversations took place, they just simply didn’t take place over a phone call, they happened in person," Sanders said.

Trump's original claim to a Wall Street Journal editor was that, instead of the response to his Boy Scout speech being mixed, "I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful. So there was — there was no mix."

The president also claimed during a Monday Cabinet meeting that "even the president of Mexico called me. They said their southern border — very few people are coming because they know they’re not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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