- REUTERS/Mike Segar
Donald Trump’s campaign released a statement Thursday afternoon saying the Republican presidential nominee never spoke to a Serbian magazine that claimed to have had an interview with him.
The Serbian outlet, Nedeljnik, falsely claimed in a story that Trump said in an interview with its reporter the bombing of Serbian troops in the 1990s was a “mistake.”
“The bombing of Serbs, who were our allies in both world wars, was a big mistake,” Nedeljnik quoted Trump as saying. “Serbians are very good people. Unfortunately, the Clinton administration caused them a lot of harm, but also throughout the Balkans, which they made a mess out of.”
It now appears these quotes were fabricated.
“Mr. Trump never gave an interview to the Serbian weekly magazine Nedeljnik as as falsely reported by the discredited Newsweek, nor was such an interview conducted through our Indiana State Director,” Jason Miller, senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign, said in a statement Thursday.
Miller added: “This was a hoax and we look forward to receiving a formal retraction and apology from all involved.”
Newsweek, among several other news outlets, wrote about the supposed Nedeljnik interview.
BuzzFeed later reported that the interview was set up through Vladimir Rajcic, a Serbian-American who supposedly has connections to some of Trump’s campaign aides.
“We asked him if we could send over some questions and after a couple of weeks got answers from Suzanne Ryder Jaworowski in an email,” Marko Prelevic, Nedeljnik’s managing editor, told BuzzFeed.
Jaworowski is the Indiana state director for the Trump campaign. She also issued a statement on Thursday denying that she set up the interview.
“Regarding the article about a media interview with a Serbian politician and Mr. Trump via my email, this is completely false,” she said in the statement. “I have never served as a conduit to interview Mr. Trump for anyone.”