Larry King told CNN this evening that the fracas over Donald Trump doing an interview with him that aired on Kremlin-controlled TV is “making a mountain out of a molehill.”
Earlier today, Trump’s rep told CNN the interview was recorded as a podcast and was a favor to King, adding, “Mr. Trump was never told it would be shared anywhere else” and that Trump would not have agreed to do the interview had he known it would air on RT America – an operation of government-funded news outlet Russia Today.
King this evening told CNN’s Erin Burnett that the podcast and his Politicking show are two entirely different things, and suggested Trump knows that, having previously participated in King’s podcast.
“I don’t know what Trump knew,” King told Burnett with regard to where his Politicking show is distributed. He said he had not been contacted by Trump or his campaign since the kerfuffle broke out.
Besides which, King said, RT never has edited his show, “so what’s the deal?”
King insisted Vladimir Putin routinely gets criticized on the program. In a Thursday interview with King, Trump said the Russian government “probably” did not meddle in the American presidential race and that the Hillary Clinton camp’s suggestion otherwise was politically motivated.
King’s phone interview with Trump had ended extremely abruptly, when King asked Trump his thoughts about Mexican immigrants. There was dead silence on the other end of the call.
“Don, are you there?,” King asked, then told viewers, “I don’t know what happened there. We did not lose the connection, so something happened.”
Trump’s reps subsequently called his producers, and — King told Burnett his producers told him — apologized. They said a “girl” came into the room from which Trump was doing the phoner and told the candidate he had something else he had to do. Hence the hang-up.
Not only did they apologize, King insisted to Burnett that they were planning to reschedule another appearance next week.
Asked if it was now unclear whether that would happen, King said he did not know, adding, “All I do is do a show.”
Hillary Clinton this afternoon weighed in on Trump’s Larry King interview on RT America, remarking: “Every day that goes by, this just becomes more and more of a realty television show. It’s not a serious presidential campaign.”
In summer of 2013, various media outlets, including Deadline, reported King’s political talkshow, Politicking with Larry King, would be carried worldwide by RT, a network funded by the Russian government. RT cut an expanded distribution deal with Ora TV, which produces Politicking and which is financed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.