The off-the-record meeting on the 42nd floor drew what insiders described as a “small grassroots” protest by some women at Condé, who chose to wear white instead of the fashion uniform of black. Wearing white is a nod to the Suffragette movement, and was also a veiled reference to the campaign of Trump’s presidential rival Hillary Clinton, who donned a white pantsuit when she clinched the Democratic nomination this summer.
The subtle “fashion protest,” as it was called by sources, was also a protest against the “olive branch” that was extended to Trump by Condé Nast higher-ups following a candidacy that was denounced by many of the company’s editors in their own magazines — especially artistic director Anna Wintour. A source offered that wearing white means that they “won’t accept his way of thinking as the new normal.”
The meeting, which began at 10 a.m. and lasted about an hour, was teased by Trump 30 minutes before it was set to start.
“Anna Wintour came to my office at Trump Tower to ask me to meet with the editors of Condé Nast & Steven Newhouse, a friend. Will go this AM,” Trump tweeted.
Employees at the company also complained about having to endure security checks from the Secret Service, with some posting photos of the ordeal via social media with the hashtag #notmypresident — including Daryl Edelstein, who is executive assistant to the chairman of Advance.net who happens to be…Steven Newhouse.
Vocal Clinton supporter Wintour, who also serves as editor in chief of Vogue, was spotted going into Trump Tower last month, an occurrence that shocked many at Condé Nast. The occasion sparked rumors that Wintour was there to ease tensions or secure a shoot with Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump for her magazine. A Vogue representative declined to comment on editorial matters, but sources said Trump has not been shot for the March issue.
On Thursday, as news broke that Trump was heading to Condé, a spokesman from the company said the invitation was extended a while ago to both candidates during the race. The company declined to comment on whether Wintour’s trip to Trump Tower included a request to come to Condé.
But back to the meeting Friday. While trying to get Conde insiders talking about the meeting was like trying to hack the Russians, insiders described the meeting as “bizarre.” It included some political questions from attendees, who included Trump’s most vocal critics – Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter (who probably didn’t ask Trump about his “short fingers”) and New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick. Neither Carter nor Remnick would comment on the meeting.
In November, broadcast journalists were criticized for agreeing to an off the record meeting at Trump Tower. Ironically, Remnick reported on the meeting. Later, the president-elect went to The New York Times, where, despite panning the paper in the past, he praised it as a “great, great American jewel” in a decidedly on-the-record interview.
The meeting Friday came shortly after Trump called the media’s focus on Russian election hacking “a political witch-hunt” in an interview he gave to The New York Times in advance of an intelligence briefing scheduled for later in the day.
Asked whether there has been any talk of Trump making an appearance at Hearst, the company said it would welcome the opportunity.
“Most every modern-day president has visited Hearst and we welcome the president-elect now or after Jan. 20. Mr. Trump has been to Hearst Tower before while taping past episodes of ‘The Apprentice,’” said Hearst vice president of marketing communications Paul Luthringer, who worked in the White House press office under George H.W. Bush.
Should Trump decide to take them up on the offer, Trump Tower is much closer to Hearst’s Columbus Circle headquarters than it is to One World Trade — not to mention very near to the Trump Hotel at Columbus Circle.