On Monday morning, President Trump told reporters in Biarritz, France, that “China called last night” and said they want to resume trade talks, later elaborating that two “high-level” Chinese officials had called to try and restart stalled negotiations. He turned to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for backup, and Mnuchin said there had been “communication,” later amending it to “communications.”

Well, “aides privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn’t happen they way he said they did,” CNN reported Wednesday. “Instead, two officials said Trump was eager to project optimism that might boost markets, and conflated comments from China’s vice premier with direct communication from the Chinese.”