A TOP BBC journalist branded ‘another beauty’ by Donald Trump during a fake news rant has revealed his family feared he would have to quit the US following the run-in.
North America Editor Jon Sopel was among those blasted by the then president-elect during a heated White House press briefing in 2017.
Other journalists smile as the BBC’s John Sopel tries to make a stand[/caption]
Donald Trump let rip at reporters during a White House fake news rant[/caption]
Now he has told broadcaster Vassos Alexander how his wife asked “are we packing to go home now?” in the wake of the high profile face-off about the US’s travel ban.
The BBC journalist was speaking on The Chris Evans Virgin Breakfast Show with Sky, on every weekday from 6.30am, to plug his new book ‘A Year at the Circus.’
Vassos asked: “Once at a White House press briefing, Donald Trump had a right go at you. What is that like?”
Sopel replied: “Unreal. If my mother was still alive she’d be thinking ‘wow my son is at the White House’, and then ‘oh my son is answering back to the leader of the free world’.
“I had barely got the first syllable out of my mouth, when Trump goes ‘where you from?’. I respond ‘BBC News’, he (said) ‘another beauty’.
“And I say ‘well actually Mr. President we are free, fair, and impartial’, he (said) ‘like CNN’, and it carries on like that, I mean this is unreal.”
The then president-elect was quick to point out the BBC and CNN’s supposed failings[/caption]
CNN’s Jim Acosta was quickly ‘shutdown’ by Mr Trump[/caption]
Sopel revealed when he tried to challenge the president he was quickly put in his place.
“Then I tried to ask my question after a bit and back forth banter. He then says ‘sit down, sit down’, but I carried on asking my question,” he said.
“He then shouts, ‘sit down, I know who you are’, at which point I got my messages from my kids, ‘he knows who you are’, and from my wife, ‘are we packing and going home now?’
“It was extraordinary, I think I became more nervous afterwards. It is like one of things you blush after, and I suddenly felt my heart beating very fast.”
Chris Evans then asked the BBC man: “Was it genuinely ever concerning?”
Sopel then admitted: “No, the news conference was raucous, and it was his first news Presidential conference he had given in the Easter room at the White House.
“And you know I had got a very early question, but I had seen what his mood was like. I had expected him to come after me.
“And I thought I’m going to be very BBC and British about this. Polite but I’m going to push back firmly. ‘No we are not biased, no matter what you say we are’, and that was fine.
“But then you just take the kid Jon Sopel, who never imagined he would be sitting in the White House, to the reality of what just happened.
“I thought this is extraordinary and America is in for a extraordinary ride. ”
Trump earlier let rip at the press conference hitting out at CNN over reports Moscow had compromising financial and personal info on him.
During the press conference, Trump specifically called out the US station for pushing the story and intelligence sources for the leak saying it was “disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out.”
“I think it’s a disgrace, and I say that, and that’s something that Nazi Germany who have done and did do,” he said.
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Mr Trump said the claims “should never have been written and should never have been released”.
“It’s all fake news, it’s phoney stuff, it didn’t happen,” he said, adding that “sick people” had “put that crap together… it’s an absolute disgrace”.
Trump then targeted BuzzFeed who later published the full unverified and salacious 35-page report.
In response, he labelled Buzzfeed a “leftwing blog” and a “failing pile of garbage”.
When the Sopel tried to mention the US controversial travel ban Trump piped up “another beauty”.