If you’re in Donald Trump’s trusty circle of friends, then at this point, you might be one of the few. Many celebrities have spoken out against the president’s policies, and even the wealthiest people in the nation aren’t necessarily thrilled with his plans to cut their taxes. But according to Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, there is one particular person outside of his family whom Trump admires.
Of course, people question Wolff’s credibility, as some know him as an unreliable source. But even so, these interesting tidbits lead us to believe Trump has a serious man crush on one individual specifically — and that person might not feel the same way back.
Trump’s admiration of Rupert Murdoch goes way back
In case you’re unfamiliar with Rupert Murdoch, this Australian media mogul controls many news outlets. Forbes explains Fox News and The Wall Street Journal are just a couple of the outlets in his control, and unsurprisingly, they tend to lean on the conservative side. So it’s no surprise that Trump looks up to someone as powerful as Murdoch.
As for how they met, their relationship goes back to when Murdoch covered news about a young Trump in the New York Post. It was Murdoch’s gossip section he launched in the Post that gave Trump celebrity status, says The Guardian.
Their relationship was always about what they could each provide for each other
Like any good transaction, you give a little to get something back. That’s exactly how Murdoch and Trump treated each other in the early years of their “friendship.” The Guardian notes Trump would provide the entertaining news coverage for Murdoch’s editorial teams to cover. And Murdoch gave Trump more and more exposure with each article written. As Lloyd Grove, a gossip columnist for the New York Daily News, told The Guardian, “They have no permanent bonds, they just have permanent interests.”
Trump now says Murdoch calls him all the time to discuss business
According to Fire and Fury, Trump loves to brag to others about how often he and the famous media mogul talk on the phone. The Globe and Mail says Trump and Murdoch talked on the phone frequently following the election, and the president still reaches out to him for advice. Trump has even called Murdoch “one of the greats, the last of the greats.”
Here’s something interesting, though: Murdoch didn’t attend a Trump Tower social gathering a few days after the election win. This agitated the president, but it seems all is forgiven.
Murdoch reportedly says Trump is an ‘idiot’
How deep does the bromance go? Perhaps not as deep as Trump believes. The Globe and Mail outlines one phone call in which Trump said he wanted to help Silicon Valley companies with an expanded work visa program. But this idea didn’t jibe with Murdoch, as he noted the border wall Trump promised to build contradicts this work visa idea. Wolff says Murdoch then called Trump an “idiot” after the phone call and thinks of him as a fool.
Of course, Wolff might be an unreliable storyteller, according to some sources. For this reason, it’s tough to say how Murdoch really feels.
Murdoch wasn’t excited when Trump said he was running for president
Quartz notes Murdoch hasn’t always been excited and supportive when it comes to the president’s ideas. According to Joshua Green’s book Devil’s Bargain, Ivanka Trump arranged a lunch with Murdoch and her father to discuss a presidential run. When Ivanka told Murdoch that Donald would be running for president, Murdoch immediately commented, “He’s not running for president.” Murdoch quickly changed the subject after that, and the tone of the lunch apparently upset Donald.
And Murdoch favored Jeb Bush as the Republican candidate, not Trump
Though Murdoch and Trump’s ties span decades, the media mogul openly favored Jeb Bush leading up to the Republican primary. The Guardian notes this highlighted some underlying tension between Murdoch and Trump that wasn’t apparent before. It seems Trump had closer ties with a different Fox News boss, Roger Ailes, and host Bill O’Reilly more than Murdoch leading up to the election. And Trump wasn’t happy with Fox News when Megyn Kelly challenged him during a debate.
With that said, they seemed to repair their relationship by June 2016, when Murdoch introduced Trump as “my friend” at a black-tie dinner.
Some sources say Murdoch has never considered Trump a true friend after all
So, is the man crush one-sided? We can’t say for sure, but The New York Times says Murdoch described Trump as “phony” to his friends. And in more recent times, Murdoch tweeted, “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?”
We also can’t forget the bad blood between Trump and Murdoch that developed when Murdoch’s New York Post put out a story about an exclusive golf club that planned on denying Trump a membership. Trump said he planned on suing his dear friend’s newspaper for libel regarding the story.
In the end, here’s what we do know about their relationship: They’re both rich, powerful, and talking frequently, whether Murdoch likes their ties or not.
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