Trump Congratulates Jon Karl on His ‘Very Good’ New Book, Weeks After Calling Him a ‘Third Rate Reporter’


President Donald Trump took a moment Friday, as he faced coronavirus questions from reporters, to compliment ABC News White House reporter Jonathan Karl on his new book Front Row at the Trump Show.

After a question from Karl, the president remarked, “Your book was very good, by the way, it was better than I thought it would be.”

People in the room laughed and Trump said, “It was better about me than I thought it would be. I appreciate it.”

The president recalled an interview they did a few years ago and of course mentioned the ratings, before again saying, “Your book is very good. Congratulations. How’s it doing?”

“Best-seller,” Karl remarked.

Trump, of course, has sparred with Karl in the briefing room in recent weeks, notably calling him a “third-rate reporter” in a particularly contentious exchange.

But it was Karl himself who has talked about the president’s clashes with reporters as being part of a show. In a recent interview with Mediaite founder Dan Abrams Karl said Trump’s treatment of reporters is “part of the game”:

“He praises me to his friends and then he’ll come out right after and blast me in front of the cameras. I know for a fact he does this with Maggie Haberman… To be clear, the very people by name the president is saying are fake news, are bad for the country, enemies of the people — he is talking to them off the record, giving them information, trying to spin stories, being friendly, and then turning around and claiming that they’re the worst people who ever walked on the earth.”

You can watch Friday’s exchange above, via Fox News.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac