Ahead of his big trip to Britain, President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to refute claims that he called Meghan Markle “nasty,” a reference to comments he made on tape in an interview with tabloid The Sun.
“I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty.’ Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold!” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!”
As reported by AFP, the comment that stirred up the controversy came during a recent taped interview with The Sun. When the interviewer for the tabloid notes that Markle — an American who became Duchess of Sussex after marrying Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, Prince Henry in 2018 — said in 2016 that she’d move to Canada if Trump won the presidency, Trump responded by saying he “didn’t know that she was nasty.”
Though she vowed to move to Canada, said the interviewer, “turned out she moved here.”
“Well, a lot of people are moving here, so what can I say,” Trump told the outlet. “No, I didn’t know that she was nasty.”
“An official Trump campaign Twitter account had rather bizarrely called attention to the ‘nasty’ comment on Saturday by linking to a video of the interview and suggesting the president had not used the word; it urged people to ‘Listen for yourself!'” AFP reports.
The “move to Canada” comment is not the only “nasty” thing Markle said about Trump; during an interview with late night TV host Larry Wilmore during the 2016 campaign, she condemned the then-candidate as “misogynistic … and SO vocal about it.” She also decried him as “divisive.”
In response to Trump’s “nasty” comment, CNN published an op-ed declaring Trump as having “proved” Markle’s “misogynistic” point (formatting adjusted):
We are, by now, used to the President’s name-calling — it is unpresidential and gauche. But “nasty” is one that rings out with some significance: he seems to reserve it for women. Recall Trump infamously interrupting Hillary Clinton during the last debate of his 2016 presidential campaign to call her “a nasty woman,” a remark so obviously gendered that many women responded by trying to reclaim it. One website that began selling “Nasty Woman” T-shirts reported that its design went viral overnight, generating tens of thousands of orders.That Trump has just chosen to hurl the same insult at Markle, while trying to defend himself against her 2016 claim that he is misogynistic, is ironic.
On Monday, Trump will begin a three-day visit with officials in the U.K., a trip that will start off with a ceremony at Buckhingham Palace that will feature royal hosts, including the Queen. Markle, however, will not be among them. Markle gave birth to her son Archie just three weeks ago and is on maternity leave. At least, that’s the official reason given, AFP notes.
In the interview with The Sun, Trump offered his support to Boris Johnson to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, whose reign has come to an end amid continued Brexit turmoil. Johnson is a strong voice in favor of Brexit, something Trump adamantly supports. If the European Union and Britain cannot reach a deal about departure, Trump suggested in the interview, the country should leave without a deal.
“Large anti-Trump protests are expected during his visit, and a huge blimp of Trump as a baby in diapers is being readied to fly over the city if police allow it,” AFP reports.