Trump Holds Oval Office Meeting With Gossip News Outlet TMZ's Founder

TMZ founder Harvey Levin, who conducted an interview with the president before his election victory, is reported to have discussed a possible second Trump interview.

President Trump in the Oval Office in a file photo, Feb. 23,2017.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Among the people who have gained coveted access to President Donald Trump is none other than Harvey Levin, the founder of TMZ, the Los-Angeles-based news site and television show that the New York Times called "leading purveyors of gossip and scandal."

Levin's White House meeting with the president last Wednesday was not listed on Trump's public schedule, the Times reported, but the pair are said to have spent an hour chatting in the Oval Office.

Levin interviewed Trump for a Fox News special that was broadcast last fall called "Objectified: Donald Trump." In an email to the Times on Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks called the show "a huge success" and said Levin and the president discussed "future opportunities" at their meetup at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where according to the Times' sources, Levin pitched the prospect of doing another television interview with Trump as part of the TMZ founder's "Objectified" series on Fox.

The series in fact had its origins as a spinoff of last year's special program with Trump, which was filmed in September, prior to Trump's election as president. In December, after Trump was elected president but before he took office, he put in a plug for a rebroadcast of Levin's interview with him in a tweet.

Levin's Oval Office visit was first reported on Monday by the Entity website, which also reported that the White House refused to confirm or deny the existence of the meeting. "But our sources tell us it was definitely about the show," Entity said," since Levin wants to feature more political power players, which is what he discussed with Trump."