Update: Trump reversed course on the cancellation Tuesday, and met with reporters and editors in a partially on-the-record meeting, which he concluded by referring to the paper as a “great great American jewel.”
President-elect Donald Trump canceled a meeting with The New York Times on Twitter Tuesday morning, then attacked the paper for setting a “nasty tone” in its coverage of him and mocked its trouble with readers.
“I cancelled today’s meeting with the failing [NYT] when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment,” Trump tweeted. “Not nice”
“Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the [NYT],” Trump added in a second tweet. “In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!”
A senior spokeswoman for the paper said Tuesday the reporters and editors who had agreed to meet with Trump had no idea the meeting was cancelled until they saw his tweet, and disputed Trump’s claim they had tried to change the terms of the meeting at the last minute. “We did not change the ground rules at all and made no attempt to,” Eileen Murphy said in a statement.
The original plan was for a small off-the-record meeting with Trump and then a larger on-the-record meeting with reporters and columnists, but according to Murphy, Trump’s team tried Monday to make the entire meeting off-the-record. TheNYT refused, she said, and they had all agreed to go back to the original plan.
Trump reportedly berated dozens of top journalists at an off-the-record meeting Monday that one source described as a “total disaster” that was totally unexpected. “He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars,” the source told The New York Post. “He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was network of liars … It was a horrible meeting.”
In another tweet fired off Tuesday morning, Trump mocked TheNYT admission it is having unusually high levels of complaints from readers over its coverage following the election.
“The failing [NYT] just announced that complaints about them are at a 15 year high,” he tweeted. “I can fully understand that – but why announce?”
Trump then switched the subject in a follow up tweet to the “great meetings” that would take place Tuesday at Trump Tower, where he is continuing the process of selecting people to run his new administration.
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