Predictably, Donald Trump has responded to a statement issued by A.G. Sulzberger and The New York Times, which was itself a response to the President who on Sunday morning decided it would be a good idea to put an ostensibly off-the-record meeting on the record by tweeting about it.
Trump met with A.G. Sulzberger on July 20 to discuss editorial policy, a meeting the Times describes as “not unusual.”
“There has been a long tradition of New York Times publishers holding such meetings with presidents and other public figures who have concerns about coverage”, the paper wrote, in a statement released Sunday afternoon.
What is “unusual”, however, is Trump’s characterization of the media as “the enemy of the people”. A.G. Sulzberger says he attempted to explain to Trump why that’s dangerous. “I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people'”, Sulzberger said, adding that “I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”
Well, Trump has responded (via Twitter, of course) and unsurprisingly, he isn’t giving an inch.
In a series of angry tweets, the President accused the media of itself endangering lives, called the press “unpatriotic”, claimed “90%” of the coverage is “negative” and in a truly remarkable turn, said the following about what he will and, more to the point, won’t, allow:
I will not allow our great country to be sold out by anti-Trump haters in the dying newspaper industry.
Then, in a complete non sequitur, the President lashed out at the Mueller probe again, calling the special counsel investigation “an illegal Scam!”
Maggie Haberman has the second byline on that article. Trump has repeatedly attacked Haberman over the course of his presidency, calling her “sad“, “third rate” and a “Hillary flunky“, among other derisive names.
Needless to say, Trump’s Sunday harangue only serves to underscore concerns that he will move to curtail press freedom. On Wednesday, the White House banned CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a press event for asking “inappropriate questions“.
Earlier this month, Trump suggested that he might move ahead with antitrust action against Amazon, a thinly-veiled effort to punish the Washington Post for its coverage of the administration and its policies.
What else can you say?
lol. yeah, this was definitely a good way to respond, sir. really well thought out. pic.twitter.com/88BNXAdjIL
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) July 29, 2018