A fizzing glass of Diet Coke sat on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office in front of a smiling president of the United States.
Donald Trump thanked the staffer who brought it and pointed at me. “Would you like something to drink?” he asked. When is the next time in my life the leader of the free world is going to ask me if I want a drink?
“A Diet Coke,” I said.
Trump flicked his wrist and off the staffer went, into an adjacent side room, returning moments later with a tall, round glass with a golden Presidential Seal on it. It was set down on a silver coaster in front of me. Fizzing Diet Coke on the Resolute Desk.
Killing the Deep State... Best Price: $4.11 Buy New $9.99 (as of 11:45 EDT - Details) Just an hour earlier, I was at the Daily Caller offices in Washington, D.C., thumbing through Twitter when my phone rang. I answered to hear the panicked voice of Saagar Enjeti, our White House correspondent. “Where are you?!” he demanded. “We got our Trump interview – we need to be at the White House in 30 minutes!” Meanwhile, I had been pitching the president’s communications team on an interview for months. I never thought it would happen like this. Killing the Deep State... Best Price: $4.11 Buy New $9.99 (as of 11:45 EDT - Details)
I dashed out of our video production studio and into the newsroom. I was not wearing a full suit. Enjeti tossed me one of his spares. I changed into it in a side office and noticed the shoes I was wearing that day were neon orange Adidas sneakers. Not exactly Oval Office material. I made the case that Kanye West just wore Yeezys into the Oval last month. Enjeti was having none of it. He insisted I change them. I matched shoe sizes with an unlucky staffer in the newsroom and commandeered his more formal leather kicks. Wearing a borrowed suit and shoes, I headed out of the office with Enjeti and breathlessly speed-walked the five blocks to the White House while submitting my vitals to the Secret Service on my cell phone.
We approached the small, heavily gated Secret Service security house at the perimeter of the White House grounds. Saagar flashed his hard pass and entered. I do not have a hard pass and therefore must present multiple forms of identification to a Secret Service officer through a bulletproof glass portal. The officer has to check all of my information into a computer and make me a badge. It’s a big pain in the ass. I can see why Jim Acosta got upset about that. As I was presenting my information, Francesca Chambers of the Daily Mail entered the secure area. I’ve known Chambers for years and while I occasionally enter White House grounds for various events, it is certainly not a normal place for me to work from.