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Washington Post writer says Trump was surprised by phone conversation with him
Washington Post reporter Dan Balz said he was unexpectedly handed a phone on Friday with President Trump on the other end, and that Trump seemed to not realize he was talking to a Post reporter.
Balz wrote in a story for the Post that he was dining in Paris on Friday night and speaking with fellow Post reporter James McAuley about a range of subjects, including Trump, when a man at a nearby table - later revealed to be CNBC anchor Joe Kernen - asked Balz, "Would you like to speak to the president?"
Balz said he was "more than surprised by his words and at first wondered which president he was talking about."
When Balz accepted the call and heard the voice on the other end, however, the "voice at the other end of the line was unmistakable."
"It was President Trump," he wrote.
Balz said he asked Trump a few questions but that no newsworthy information was revealed. Trump eventually asked Balz, "Are you Hillary or are you Trump?"
When Balz replied that he was a reporter and asked Trump if he knew who he was speaking with, it became obvious that Trump wasn't aware, according to Balz.
Balz added that when he identified himself, Trump "seemed to be as surprised by the fact that he had a Washington Post reporter on the line as I had been to find that a man at a table next to mine was actually talking to the president of the United States."
Balz wrote that Trump appeared not to be alone and that there was an "outbreak of laughter" on Trump's end of the call after Balz identified himself.
The entire conversation between Balz and Trump lasted fewer than two minutes, according to Balz.
"That was that," he wrote. "Just another night in a foreign capital. Just another bizarre moment and a chance encounter with the president of the United States. I wonder whether there will be another."