The Washington Post has posted a fascinating ego-based story today reporting that in his early years of media attention, Republican front-runner Donald Trump would phone reporters posing as his own "publicist" to get ink in the newspapers.
Accompanying the story is an audio recording that seems to be Trump calling a People Magazine reporter using the name "John Miller."
In 1990, Trump testified in a court case that “I believe on occasion I used that name.” He did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
In a phone call to NBC’s “Today” program Friday morning, Trump denied that he was John Miller. “No, I don’t think it — I don’t know anything about it. You’re telling me about it for the first time and it doesn’t sound like my voice at all,” he said. “I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice and then you can imagine that, and this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams — doesn’t sound like me.” Later, he was more definitive: “It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone. And when was this? Twenty-five years ago?”
Trump has never been terribly adamant about denying that he often made calls to reporters posing as someone else. From his earliest years in business, he occasionally called reporters using the name “John Barron.”
Trump’s fascination with the name “Barron” persisted for decades. When he was seeing Maples while still married to Ivana, he sometimes used the code name “the Baron” when he left messages for her. In 2004, when Trump commissioned a dramatic TV series based on the life of a New York real estate mogul like him, his only request to the writer was to name the main character “Barron.” And when Trump and his third wife, Melania, had a son, they named him Barron.
A few weeks later, when People ran a story about Trump and Maples getting engaged, Trump was quoted saying that the John Miller call was a “joke gone awry.”
The Washington Post piece goes on to list folks who listened to the recording and clearly recognized the voice as Donald Trump's, including his former wife Marla Maples and longtime friend Cindy Adams. Plus, the story lists other reporters who recall getting calls from a "John Miller" about The Donald back in the day.