John Karl Talks ‘Bizarre’ Time Trump Compared Him to Barron


Veteran ABC News correspondent and touring author Jonathan Karl regaled CNN’s John Berman with a “bizarre” anecdote about then-President Donald Trump comparing Karl to his son Barron Trump — whom Trump said would not declare his love for his dad out loud.

Karl, who has been a ubiquitous presence on cable news as he promotes his bombshellladen book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, was Berman’s guest on Tuesday morning’s edition of New Day.

Toward the end of the interview, Berman asked about a particularly strange and overlooked story from the tome.

“You write about a meeting that you had in the Oval Office,” Berman said, noting that Karl was then the head of the White House Correspondents Association, an organization that had a very contentious relationship with Trump.

“And you went in with Zeke Miller, another reporter, right, to talk to then-President Trump because he was sort of musing about the possibility of going to the White House Correspondents Dinner,” Berman continued. “And you write about this conversation.”

“The former president says ‘Jonathan is very cool.’ He told Zeke Miller, ‘He’s like my son.’ Trump then proceeded to reenact a conversation with his son. ‘Do you love your dad? I don’t know. But he does. But he’s too cool, the kids,’” Berman said, reading from the book.

“Donald Trump, it seemed, was comparing me to his teenage son, Barron, and he was comparing my lack of excitement about his possible appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner, with his son’s reluctance to say out loud that he loved him,” Berman concluded.

“I mean, this was, there have been many surreal moments. I can’t say if it was the most, but it was certainly in the top, top five,” Karl told Berman.

He set the stage by telling Berman he and Miller were summoned to the Oval at “the beginning of March. It’s a week before the world shuts down, United States shuts down because of the pandemic.”

The subject was the White House Correspondents Dinner, which Trump was considering not skipping as he had in previous years.

Karl noted “I hadn’t even invited the guy. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invite him. He had called the press the enemy of the people.”

“I wasn’t even going to actually ask him. I just said ‘We respect your decision. If you want to come, you’re welcome to come. If you don’t want to come, that’s fine,’” Karl recounted. “And that’s that that that whole bizarre exchange where he’s talking about his son not wanting to say he loves him.”

“It is. It is odd, to say the least. And by the way, has an hour to spend with you with the pandemic is breaking out all over the world,” Berman remarked.

Watch above via CNN.

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