Is Donald Trump really a “big customer” of Ford Motor Company, the U.S. automaker he keeps insulting from the campaign trail?
That’s what he told Ford (F) CEO Mark Fields, according to comments made last night during a Fortune Brainstorm Tech dinner in Las Vegas.
Trump’s rhetorical war against Ford has been a regular part of his stump speeches since the summer, focusing primarily on the automaker’s plans to build a $2.5 billion factory in Mexico (plans that are still active, despite Trump’s October claims to the contrary). More recently, the GOP frontrunner has said he’d slap a 35% tariff on any Mexico-made cars coming over the border (although it’s unclear how he’d do that). And then there was this:
In Las Vegas, Fields dismissed Trump’s comments as shady politics, adding that the candidate was not nearly so vehement in a private conversation. Here is what Fields said, when asked about Trump’s criticism ― and tax threat ― by Fortune‘s Adam Lashinsky:
Fortune has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment, but we’ve not yet heard back.