The Washington Post newsroom broke out into applause when their story on Trump allegedly sharing classified information in a meeting with Russian ambassadors broke a company record.
As the clicks were rolling in, Glenn Kessler, the Post’s fact-checker, tweeted: “Applause in the newsroom as the Russia-leak scoop breaks the Hollywood Access record for most readers per minute.”
Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce described the applause as “weird, given the circumstances.”
Conservative news giant Matt Drudge also took issue on Twitter with the Post’s celebration of clicks.
“WASHPOST Newsroom staff openly applauding at latest Trump hit finally clarifies how this has turned into nothing but a bloodsport!” wrote Drudge, who runs the influential Drudge Report.
He followed up with a second tweet, linking to a Politico story that noted then-President Obama being greeted with applause during a visit to the Post’s building in 2009. (The Post denied that those applauding were reporters.)
“WASHPOST Newsroom staff openly applauded when Obama visited ’09,” Drudge wrote in the second tweet. “It was bloodsport then, just played on same team!”
Drudge suggested that the Post’s targeting of Trump is motivated by their owner, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who Trump has said has a “huge anti-trust problem.”
“He thinks I’ll go after him for antitrust,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last year. “Because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much, Amazon is controlling so much of what they are doing.”
“He’s using the Washington Post, which is peanuts, he’s using that for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of antitrust,” Trump claimed.
Drudge, an early promoter of Trump’s presidential campaign, appears to agree with that accusation. He wrote: “WASHPOST owner personally motivated in bloodsport after Trump threat of AMAZON monopoly breakup. Follow the clicks!”