View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Publishers
  2. National Newspapers
January 16, 2017updated 17 Jan 2017 11:35am

Michael Gove defends Donald Trump interview tactics after claims he failed to challenge president-elect

By Dominic Ponsford

Michael Gove has defending his interviewing tactics and refusal to challenge Donald Trump more forthrightly in an interview for The Times.

He also revealed that the paper secured the exclusive interview after approaching Trump jointly with German daily Bild.

Asked on the BBC Daily Politics why he did not challenge Trump about various outrageous campaign statements and policy u-turns former cabinet minister Gove said: “We were there for the best part of an hour, we had the opportunity to ask questions on a range of issues.

“When you are talking to someone like Donald Trump you can try to, if you want to,  argue with him but he is like a river in spate, the flow of language just comes at a torrent.”

Asked where were the difficult questions on his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, he said: “We asked if he would stand by what he said on NATO, he did shift his position, we did ask him about everything from the Iran deal to whether he was going to fulfil his campaign promise to on barring all Muslims…

“It was important for me and my colleague from Bild to cover a wide range of topics and then allow Times and Bild readers to form their own judgement…

“We managed to generate from him compelling news on a variety of issues, including a commitment to a rapid trade deal with Theresa May…

Content from our partners
Free journalism awards for journalists under 30: Deadline today
MHP Group's 30 To Watch awards for young journalists open for entries
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition

“My role in the interview was to make sure he can speak for himself and then people can make their own judgements…

“There’s a difference between being a reporter  who allows a politician to speak for themselves and an individual who can form a judgement about what they say.”

Asked whether it was professional of him to pose for a thumbs-up picture with Trump at the end of the interview, he said: “People will have their own views about that picture.

“I think I’ve got a smile on my face and so has he. So if it provokes a smile of anyone reading the newspapers then we are entertaining as well as informing.

“If people think it was shoddy journalism then I can only apologise. I am still a relative newcomer to the trade. I will hope to do better with my next story.”

Writing in The Guardian Jonathan Freedland said: “Above all, the Gove/Trump encounter provides a useful glimpse into what the future of direct media accountability of the US president will look like.

“You can see why Trump Tower granted the former minister his hour. It’s the same reason Trump gives regular access to Sean Hannity of Fox News. He would prefer to be questioned only by those who are ideological sympathisers.

“Gove provided regular reassurance of that, seeing no reason to challenge Trump on anything.”

Picture: Credit The Times/ News Syndication

Topics in this article : , ,

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network