The White House on Tuesday pushed back against an auctioneer’s claim to possess the Bible President Donald Trump used as a prop several months ago in his infamous St. John’s Episcopal Church photo-op, a Bible that the auctioneer also claims Trump autographed prior to giving it away.
“It’s not true,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere told TPM via email, later clarifying that he meant the auctioneer does not possess the Bible and that the tome is not up for auction. Deere did not address TPM’s query on whether Trump had indeed signed the Bible.
In a phone call with TPM, Gary Zimet, an autograph curator at “Moments In Time” in Los Angeles, confirmed his remarks to Page Six in which he claimed that he had asked a “contact” at the White House to get Trump to sign the Bible shortly after the scandal erupted in early June.
Zimet said he successfully received the exact Bible that Trump waved in front of the church after he got law enforcement to teargas nearby peaceful protesters to clear his path for the photo-op. The curator put up the Bible for auction on Tuesday with a starting bid of $37,500.
However, Zimet would not disclose who his White House contact was, telling TPM that the information was “confidential.”
“I’ve been in business for 40 years, my dear, and I know autographs,” the auctioneer said when asked how he could prove to customers that the item was legitimate.
He also declined to say how many offers he’s received, only that he’s had “a great deal of interest” in the Bible.
Zimet claimed he was no fan of Trump, however, telling TPM several times that he considers the President to be a “psychotic insect.”