The production company behind Larry King’s programming, which taped an interview with Donald Trump that was beamed over a Russian-backed TV channel on Thursday night, says the GOP nominee was booked for King’s weekly political talk show.
That differs from the Trump campaign’s explanation of the incident, which was that Trump believed he was being interviewed for King’s podcast.
In a statement emailed to TPM Friday, a spokesperson for OraTV, the television production company that makes and distributes “PoliticKING with Larry King,” said Trump was “always” booked on that program.
“PoliticKING with Larry King and Larry King Now are produced and owned entirely by Ora Media, LLC., who are solely responsible for its editorial direction,” the statement read. “RT America is one of several dozen companies who license these and other Ora programs for distribution around the world. A visit to www.Ora.tv will provide several examples of our content. Larry King is a part owner in and employee of Ora Media, LLC. and neither he nor his producers are employed by RT America. Mr. Trump was always booked on ‘PoliticKING with Larry King’ for Ora TV.”
Trump came under fire for appearing on the Kremlin-backed Russia Today network amid criticism for his remarks praising Russian President Vladimir Putin. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Friday that Trump called into the show and only expected the interview to be used on King’s podcast.
“Nobody said it would be on Russian TV,” Conway said on CNN.
A spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond Friday afternoon to a request for comment from TPM.
Ora TV, co-founded by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, was among the business partners who cut ties with Trump after his derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants in June 2015. The chairman of Ora TV, Arturo Elías Ayub, told Forbes the company also decided to pull the plug on a planned project for reality TV programming on the Miss USA pageant, Trump’s family, and his real estate empire.
A licensing deal between Ora TV and RT America led to the Trump interview airing on the Kremlin-backed network. King and his wife also have a podcast, dubbed “Back & Forth with Shawn and Larry King,” that does not appear to be connected to RT.
This post has been updated.