Katy Tur’s Trump mo­ment

NBC News re­porter pens book about ‘Un­be­liev­able’ cam­paign

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Mike Snider

There are cringe-wor­thy mo­ments aplenty in the new book from NBC News’ Katy Tur about her ex­pe­ri­ence cov­er­ing the Trump cam­paign.

But per­haps the most unbe

liev­able mo­ment in Un­be­liev­able: My Front-Row Seat to the Cra­zi­est Cam­paign in Amer­i­can His­tory comes when then-can­di­date Don­ald Trump abruptly kissed Tur on the cheek.

Trump is “bar­rel­ing ” to­ward her be­fore an ap­pear­ance on MSNBC’s Morn­ing Joe shot in New Hamp­shire the morn­ing af­ter the Nov. 10, 2015, Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial de­bate, she writes. “Be­fore I know what’s hap­pen­ing, his hands are on my shoul­ders and his lips are on my cheek. My eyes widen. My body freezes. My heart stops.”

Trump leaves for the set “seem­ingly very proud of him­self.” But Tur writes she is “mor­ti­fied” and thinks, “I hope the cam­eras didn’t see that. My bosses are never go­ing to take me se­ri­ously. I didn’t have time to duck!”

Dur­ing Trump’s on-air chat with hosts Mika Brzezin­ski and Joe Scar­bor­ough, he is talk­ing about press cov­er­age and “then looks at Joe as if he just had an epiphany. ‘ But ac­tu­ally, Katy Tur — what hap­pened? She was so great. I just saw her back there. I gave her a big kiss. She was fan­tas­tic.’ ”

Tur spent more than 500 days cov­er­ing the Trump cam­paign for NBC News and MSNBC. Dur­ing that time, Trump of­ten sin­gled out Tur, say­ing “Katy hasn’t even looked up once at me,” dur­ing a June 2015 event, also in New Hamp­shire, and “She’s back there, lit­tle Katy ... third-rate re­porter,” in a De­cem­ber 2015 rally in Charleston, S.C., aboard the USS York­town.

The back and forth be­tween the can­di­date and em­bed­ded re­porter led to the cre­ation of the Twit­ter hash­tag #ImWithTur.

Look­ing back at the cam­paign, “it is still un­be­liev­able,” Tur told To­day show host Matt Lauer dur­ing an in­ter­view Tues­day. “Espe- cially when I went back and wrote the book and I re­viewed a lot of the diary notes that I took and the re­port­ing I did. I couldn’t be­lieve that I ex­pe­ri­enced what I did. ... There were ac­tual mem­o­ries where I went back and didn’t ac­tu­ally think they hap­pened, and then I found a clip of it on tele­vi­sion.”

Since the book’s re­lease Tues­day, many have used Twit­ter to com­ment about the book and Tur’s writ­ing and ex­pe­ri­ences. Get­ting par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion is an ex­cerpt tweeted by her NBC News col­league and po­lit­i­cal re­porter Benjy Sar­lin. Near the book’s end, Tur sum­ma­rizes the in­cred­i­ble na­ture of Trump’s cam­paign and how those who cov­ered it will al­ways “need each other just to vouch for sto­ries that our chil­dren, spouses, and other friends surely won’t be­lieve. The shock-a-day style of the Trump cam­paign is over­whelm­ing our means of record­ing it.”

An­other sec­tion noted by some ap­pears in the pro­logue, in which Tur at­tempts to ex­plain the na­tional mo­men­tum that led to Trump’s elec­tion win: “They’ve de­cided that this men­ac­ing, in­de­cent, post-truth land­scape is where they want to live for the next four years. ... You feel like you are scream­ing at the top of your lungs in a room full of peo­ple wear­ing earplugs.”

Tur says she gets those who are wor­ried about jobs, small-town eco­nomics and out­sourc­ing. “What I don’t get are the lit­tle old ladies in pow­der-pink MAKE AMER­ICA GREAT AGAIN hats call­ing me a liar,” she writes.

Tur’s book landed Tues­day, the same day as did What Hap­pened? by Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and for­mer first lady Hil­lary Clin­ton.


Katy Tur

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