Newly obtained audio recording revealed a heated exchange between former President Donald Trump and an NBC reporter aboard his plane. The reporter had asked about the criminal investigation by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, which reportedly irked Trump. He allegedly demanded that the reporter leave the plane and grabbed and threw his phone to the side. The reporter had asked the question multiple times, even after Trump had stated he wouldn’t be answering any more questions from him. This incident took place a few days prior to Trump’s scheduled indictment in New York City, during an ongoing political witch hunt against him.
According to Fox News:
The heated exchange, which was first reported by Vanity Fair, occurred on March 25 following Trump’s campaign rally in Waco, Texas. The leading 2024 Republican contender was speaking with a group of reporters aboard his plane when NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard suggested that he seemed “frustrated” by Bragg’s investigation. The question seemingly hit a nerve for Trump, who told the reporter not to ask “any more questions.”
“I’m not frustrated by anything,” Trump replied, according to a recording obtained by the Washington Post. “What am I, frustrated? I just did a speech for two hours. I’m not frustrated by it. It’s a fake investigation. We did nothing wrong. I told you that. … It’s the exact opposite. This is fake news, and NBC is one of the worst at it. Don’t ask me any more questions,” he said.
“I heard you’re a nice guy from NBC, but you’re not,” Trump later added.
As Hillyard continued to state his question, a frustrated Trump reportedly grabbed the reporter’s two phones from the table in front of him and tossed them to the side, a source familiar with the matter told Vanity Fair.
In the obtained audio recording, Trump can be heard telling his aides to
“…get him out of here. Out of here. Out of here,” he said.
The journalists were then escorted away, the Washington Post reported. It is unclear whether Hillyard was removed from Trump’s plane, but Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told the outlet that “no negative incidents” involving reporters ever occurred on his plane. The exchange occurred several days before the former president was indicted and later arraigned in New York City for allegedly falsifying business records related to hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.
It is essential to take into account the media’s track record of being hostile towards Trump and his supporters when evaluating his conduct towards the press. Reporters have eagerly covered Trump’s indictment, celebrated calls for violence against January 6th protestors, and took pleasure in seeing them incarcerated – all while protecting black lives matter rioters. With this in mind, it’s likely that the media is simply following its established pattern of attempting to provoke Trump into making negative statements or continuing to report on the alleged political persecution against him. Keeping this in mind, most would likely kick the reporter off the plane, or just never allow them on in the first place.