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Golf.com Cites ‘8 or 9’ Witnesses to Trump Calling White House a ‘Dump’

President denies saying it, Golf.com fires back

Golf.com is sticking to its guns after President Trump called a story on its website “fake news.” The report said POTUS called the White House “a real dump,” and now Golf.com is saying it has plenty of witnesses to back up the claim.

Trump called the story “fake news” on Twitter Wednesday night but the site published a podcast and article, titled: “The story behind our Trump golf story (and certain explosive quote).” In it, Golf.com’s Alan Shipnuck explained his reporting and said at least eight people heard the president bash the White House.

“The president said this in front of eight or nine members and staffers at [Trump] Bedminster. It was his first visit to the club after he had been residing in the White House. It was a moment of candor. Someone who was a part of that conversation relayed it to me. I found this person to be an extremely credible source on any number of topics,” Shipnuck said on the podcast. “I heard the same story told by two or three different other sources.”

Shipnuck also said that Trump adviser Hope Hicks called him to complain about the quote and she wasn’t exactly friendly about it.

“They definitely don’t waste any time trying to be charming or friendly, these people in the White House communications department. She tried the same line on me, ‘That’s a lie and needs to be retracted.’ I explained to her: It’s not a lie,” Shipnuck said.

Shipnuck continued: “It might be inconvenient for her boss and she might wish he didn’t say it, but it’s not a lie.”

The “dump” quote originally came from a Golf.com profile of the president published on Tuesday. The outlet said the remark was made by Trump to members of his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as an explanation for why he takes so many golfing trips on the weekends. A White House spokesperson denied the statement to the site and Trump eventually took to Twitter.

“I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “TOTALLY UNTRUE.”

Golf.com wrote that the president is “often at his most unguarded among the people who pay for their proximity to him.” The publication goes on to quote an address to club members last November by then-president-elect Trump.

“This is my real group,” he said, reportedly offering them the option to “drop in” to his interviews with potential members of his Cabinet. “You are the special people. I see all of you. I recognize, like, 100 percent of you, just about.”

Trump received widespread condemnation for the comment on social media, with former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton among those weighing in.

“Thank you to all the White House ushers, butlers, maids, chefs, florists, gardeners, plumbers, engineers & curators for all you do every day,” Clinton wrote.