Gov. Gavin Newsom of California is pushing back against Donald Trump’s claim that he called the president “one of the smartest people I’ve ever met” in a private telephone call.
Trump made the false claim during his speech at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
The Democratic governor dismissed the president’s version of events on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°.”
“You can’t make this up, Anderson,” Newsom said.
The governor explained that he spoke to the president “because I wanted to extend to him my appreciation” for his visit to wildfire-ravaged communities in his state and to “express the fact that the people in those communities were grateful to him.”
“I was grateful to him,” Newsom added. “The people in those communities appreciated not only his time and attention but appreciated his commitments that he made.”
But Newsom told Anderson that his thanks “somehow” got conflated by Trump.
“I think we hear what we want to hear,” he continued. “So no, I can’t admit, quote, unquote, to what I said privately because that’s not what I said.”
Watch the segment, below:
“You can’t make this up… that’s not what I said.”
California Gov. @GavinNewsom says Pres. Trump mischaracterized a phone call they shared, suggesting he did not call Trump “one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” as Trump publicly claimed. pic.twitter.com/PzlAhqzP8f
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 12, 2019