President Donald Trump on Saturday morning accused New York Times’ reporter Maggie Haberman of misrepresenting his visit to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, hospitals to meet victims of last weekend’s mass shootings.
“Maggie Haberman of the Failing @nytimes reported that I was annoyed by the lack of cameras inside the hospitals in Dayton & El Paso, when in fact I was the one who stated, very strongly, that I didn’t want the Fake News inside & told my people NOT to let them in. Fake reporting!” Trump tweeted.
On Friday, three writers for the Times, including Haberman, reported that Trump was allegedly “frustrated that his attacks on his political adversaries had resulted in more coverage than the cheery reception he received at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, the first stop on his trip.”
Trump, according to the Times, apparently “screamed at his aides to begin producing proof that in El Paso people were happy to see him.”
The Times also blamed Trump for suffering brought on Tito Anchondo, whose brother and sister-in-law were killed in the El Paso shooting. Anchondo traveled to meet Trump and was photographed with Trump and his 2-month-old nephew, who survived the shooting. The photo brought press scorn and derision because Trump gave a “thumbs up” while posing for the photo. Press attacks on the president resulted in harassment for Anchondo.
The Times claimed that the photo was part of a press package “of White House-distributed photographs, tweets and videos that focused on the president instead of people affected by the shootings.”
The Times claimed that Trump’s staff kept the media away but that the president was unhappy with “the result.”
The Times provided no support for their claims of Trump’s frustration – named or anonymous – and simply reported the president’s alleged outcries as fact. The only named or anonymous sources mentioned by the Times dispute the account. One senior White House official who was on the trip told the outlet that the characterization of the “thumbs up” photo were unfair. The official told the outlet that Trump was trying to show that he was approachable and supportive.
The Hill received a statement from the Times saying their report was “based on interviews with three White House and administration officials in addition to many others including families affected by the mass shooting,” even though no such information was provided in the article, as is standard practice.
Trump sent another tweet chastising the press for its coverage of him, saying the media had never been “more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt!”
He added: “We are not fighting the Democrats, they are easy, we are fighting the seriously dishonest and unhinged Lamestream Media. They have gone totally CRAZY. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”