- Trump wrote on Twitter that reporters do not seek comment from the White House before publishing bombshell stories, in an apparent reference to a New York Times piece about his conversations with former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.
- New York Times White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman called it “a lie” that she and her team did not reach out to the White House communications staff before publication.
New York Times White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman said it was “a lie” when President Donald Trump claimed reporters do not reach out for comment in advance of publishing a story.
The Times reported Trump called former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker to ask him if an attorney appointed by the president could un-recuse himself in an investigation by the Southern District of New York regarding 2016 payments. Trump responded by lambasting the publication during a Wednesday morning Twitter tirade.
“The Press has never been more dishonest than it is today,” he wrote. “Stories are written that have absolutely no basis in fact. The writers don’t even call asking for verification. They are totally out of control. Sadly, I kept many of them in business. In six years, they all go BUST!”
During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning, Haberman said, “That’s a lie” when asked by host John Berman if it was true reporters do not seek comment.
Haberman noted that she sent several emails to White House communications staff asking for comment, but “they went unanswered.”
— Alli Hedges (@AllisonLHedges) February 20, 2019
“We went through a detailed list of what we were planning on reporting,” she said. “They chose not to engage.”
“Whether his aides are not telling him what we are looking at or whether this is a game and he knows what it is and he’s pretending that he doesn’t, I can’t read his mind,” Haberman added. “But we certainly followed normal reporting practices and went over it at length with both the White House and Department of Justice.”
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