- A patron in a Washington, DC restaurant recorded a hands-free call between President Donald Trump and a congressional ally, and then sent it to The New York Times.
- In the call, Trump boasted he had received 95,000 retweets for a message saying bases named after Confederates would not change their names.
- "I had about 95,000 positive retweets. That's a lot," Trump said to Senator James Inhofe. There were actually around 34,000 retweets with 134,000 likes.
- The urge to rename bases named after confederate figures was rejected by Trump, but is actively being examined by the U.S. military.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
President Donald Trump was recorded when he boasted about a hands-free republican ally who received thousands of retweets for his enthusiastic support for the maintenance of U.S. military bases named after Confederate officers. The New York Times reported.
The call was recorded on Wednesday evening by a patron of an Italian restaurant in Washington DC when the president called Republican Senator James Inhofe, chair of the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
Inhofe, the 85-year-old senator from Oklahoma, called via the hands-free system, according to The Times.
The two were overheard as they discussed the move to give a new name to a Fort Lee, Virginia, named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
"We'll keep Robert E. Lee's name?" Trump asked what Inhofe replied, "Just trust me, I'll make it."
Trump replied, "I had about 95,000 positive retweets. That's a lot."
The president apparently referred to a tweet he sent last Friday saying that Inhofe had told him "that he did NOT name our major military bases and fortresses, from which we won two world wars (and more) will change. " !). Like me, Jim doesn't believe in "breaking culture".
The tweet did not receive 95,000 retweets – the post had around 34,500 retweets with an additional 134,000 likes in early Friday.
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2020
During the conversation, the two reports also discussed more broadly about "abandoning culture", with Trump using an explanation to describe recent cultural debates about racism.
The urge to rename the 10 U.S. military bases named after confederate figures has become a focus of the presidential election.
The U.S. military has said it is actively considering renaming bases after police protested racism following George Floyd's murder, but the president has spoken out against this move.
It is not the first time that a president's hands-free call to an ally has been overheard.
A US embassy official in Kiev, Ukraine, told investigators last year that he heard the president speak to EU ambassador Gordon Sondland at a restaurant.