As the 2024 presidential primary elections are heating up, so, too, are the hit pieces against former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump.
The latest comes from “Down Under,” courtesy of “60 Minutes Australia” — with a predictable assist from The New York Times.
With leaked audio of Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt, the outlets attempt to paint Trump as a president who objectified Melania and casually dropped “sensitive information” to Pratt about “American nuclear submarines,” according to The Times, which adds, “an episode that Mr. Trump denies.”
Worth $24 billion, Pratt is the third-richest man in Australia, and according to “60 Minutes Australia,” he paid $200,000 in 2017 for a membership to Mar-a-Lago.
While there for a dinner, Pratt says Trump told him, “I asked Melania to walk around the pool in a bikini so all the other guys could get a look at what they were missing.”
Melania, who was sitting next to Pratt, reportedly shot back, “I’ll do that when you walk around with me in your bikini.”
Naturally, The Times left out Melania’s retort, turning an out-of-context, humorous exchange between a married couple into a misogynistic jab that reduces the former First Lady to some sort of a victim.
“It certainly confirms for us and reminds us that Donald Trump is quite happy to demean his own wife in front of other people,” political and international Morning Herald editor Peter Hartcher mansplained for “60 Minutes.”
“Is that the character that really want in your next president?” he asked.
According to The Times, interactions between Trump and Pratt “were ultimately swept up in one of the two federal criminal cases that the special counsel Jack Smith brought against Mr. Trump.”
“Prosecutors have interviewed Mr. Pratt in the case in which Mr. Trump is charged with taking classified documents with him from the White House when he left office and obstructing efforts to retrieve them,” The Times reports. “Mr. Pratt is listed as a potential witness who could testify against Mr. Trump at a trial next year.”
At a time when a mountain of evidence is emerging to prove that President Biden personally benefited from Hunter’s schemes to sell access to his powerful father to shady foreign partners, The Times does its best to portray Trump’s relationship with Pratt as a quid-pro-quo transaction.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) October 22, 2023
“When Mr. Pratt opened a new factory in Ohio that promised hundreds of new jobs, Mr. Trump toured the plant alongside the Australian prime minister,” The Times reports. “Mr. Pratt, in turn, gained priceless publicity and proximity to the power of the presidency, providing him entree into an administration whose policies lowered his taxes and benefited his business.”
In its analysis of the leaked audio, The Times writes:
The private comments, captured while Mr. Trump was still president, provide a rare glimpse into how a businessman on the other side of Mr. Trump’s transactions actually viewed the New York real estate developer’s tactics — with a mix of blunt acknowledgment and admiration for someone so willing to test the boundaries of the presidency.
On the recordings, Mr. Pratt recounts how Mr. Trump shared with him in December 2019 what he describes as elements of a conversation the president had with Iraq’s leader right after a U.S. military strike there aimed at Iranian-backed forces. Days later, a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad would kill Iran’s top security and intelligence commander.
At one point, Mr. Pratt said, Mr. Trump discussed the phone call he had with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine earlier that year that had helped lead to Mr. Trump’s first impeachment. “That was nothing compared to what I usually do,” Mr. Trump said, in Mr. Pratt’s recounting.
It is not clear whether Mr. Pratt shared these accounts with prosecutors or whether prosecutors are aware of the recordings.
“At one point, Mr. Pratt said, Mr. Trump discussed the phone call he had with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine earlier that year that had helped lead to Mr. Trump’s first impeachment,” The Times continues. “‘That was nothing compared to what I usually do,’ Mr. Trump said, in Mr. Pratt’s recounting.”
What The Times fails to mention is Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s admission that Trump did nothing wrong.
“The president can basically say whatever he wants to anybody and can declassify classified information,” Bolton said. “It’s a question not so much of illegality as of prudence and competence to be president.”
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