Reporter: 8 'members and staffers' at golf club heard Trump call the White House a 'dump'

The primary reporter behind a recent story that claimed President Trump called the White House "a real dump" has spoken out in defense of the quote.

As Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck recounted on a podcast released Wednesday, he had explained to White House director of strategic communications Hope Hicks during a call asking him to retract the quote that it was "not a lie."

He added, "The president said this in front of eight or nine members and staffers at [Trump] Bedminster. It was his first visit to the club after he had been residing in the White House. It was a moment of candor. Someone who was a part of that conversation relayed it to me. I found this person to be an extremely credible source on any number of topics."

Shipnuck continued, "The week of the U.S. Women's Open [in July], I heard the same story told by two or three different other sources."

The controversial quote attributed to Trump was included in a forthcoming Sports Illustrated feature story about the president which was posted early on Golf.com.

It says that Trump was getting ready to play golf at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, when he told some members, "That White House is a real dump."

The comment was reportedly made to explain his regular visits to the club; he has made at least four trips there since taking office.

Shipnuck also mentioned on the podcast that a line about the White House's denial was added to his story, but said, "Of course it did take place but we were just being nice by offering in their two cents."

Nevertheless, Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to denounce the quote, saying, "I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLYUNTRUE."