In an “exclusive” interview with ABC News, Donald Trump defended his decision to step away from the campaign trail to attend a ribbon cutting for the new Trump hotel in Washington.
“I built one of the great hotels of the world. What am I supposed to do, not show up? I’m taking one hour off. I’m going to North Carolina right after this, then I’m going back down to Florida. I’m going up to New Hampshire. I’m all over the place,” Trump told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
Trump, however, made virtually the same comments in a one-on-one interview with CNN’s Dana Bash that aired on Wolf in the 1 p.m. ET hour. “I left for an hour and a half, I’m going to North Carolina right now, then I’m going to Florida and going up to New Hampshire.”
Not quite word-for-word, but pretty close. So what makes ABC’s interview “exclusive”? Trump told CNN the hotel came in on time and under budget, and he repeated that in ABC’s “exclusive.” In fact, Trump also mentioned “on time and under budget” in yet another one-on-one interview today, this time with Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin—though it wasn’t billed as an “exclusive.”
ABC, which did its interview as did CNN and Bloomberg in the new Trump hotel, will argue that its interview is longer, covers more topics, and was a more “formal” sit-down interview (with extended segments set to air on GMA Thursday), compared to the shorter interviews done by Bash and Halperin. Stephanopoulos and Trump talked in a hotel suite, while Bash and Halperin did their interviews in the hotel’s common areas. Does any of this make a difference? Does anyone care?
UPDATE: ABC News dropped the “exclusive” bug from the story on World News Tonight, but did call the Trump sit-down “breaking news.” The network says additional interviews with Melania Trump and the Trump children airing Thursday morning were exclusive and will be branded as such.