Gawker‘s plan to punish Donald Trump by publishing his personal phone number online has backfired … as the Republican presidential candidate has turned it into another channel to pass across his campaign message.
On Monday, the liberal news site published Trump’s phone number ‘in the spirit of open and fair political debate’ because more than two weeks earlier, Trump had read off the phone number of rival candidate Lindsey Graham to a crowd gathered at the senator’s home state of South Carolina. Days before that, Graham had publicly labeled Trump a ‘jackass.’
To show its distaste for Trump, Gawker urged its readers to ask him the following questions:
‘Does he still think Mexicans are out to rape you? Speaking of rape, does he think it’s possible to rape your own wife? Just how much did he exaggerate his net worth to hit the $10 billion figure? What about breast milk does he find so disgusting? Which cabinet position would he give Sarah Palin?’
But Trump, a very shrewd businessman, has turned what would have been an emotional disaster into a tool to spread his message and gain voters. Call the leaked number now, and what you will hear is a voicemail message from Trump himself, saying:
‘Hi, this is Donald Trump and I’m running for the presidency of the United States of America. With your help and support, together, we can make America truly great again. Visit me on Twitter at @realdonaldtrump and check out my campaign website at www.donaldtrump.com. Hope to see you on the campaign trail. We’re going to do it.’
Trump even went further by tweeting out the leaked number, writing, ‘Thank you @gawker! Call me on my cellphone 917.756.8000 and listen to my campaign message.’
Check out the video of the voicemail below.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorpNBC) August 4, 2015