Trump Criticizes NYT Reporter Maggie Haberman Over ‘Fake Reporting’

August 10, 2019 Updated: August 10, 2019

President Donald Trump said that New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reported a false story about him, calling it fake.

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Aug. 10.

“Fake reporting!”

“Never has the press been more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt! 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!” he later added.

The president and First Lady Melania Trump visited victims of the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio on Aug. 7. The press was barred from covering the visits because the trip was about meeting with victims and wasn’t meant to be a photo-op, according to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Haberman, a political reporter with The Times, regularly writes stories claiming to know what the president has been thinking and doing behind the scenes, relying on a bevy of anonymous sources. Her stories about Trump are almost all negative.

In one of her latest pieces, relying on anonymous sources, she and co-authors Katie Rogers and Rick Rojas said that Trump was “frustrated” that his reception at hospitals in Dayton and El Paso didn’t receive better press coverage. They claimed that Trump “screamed at his aides to begin producing proof that in El Paso people were happy to see him.” They also wrote that the president “bellowed at the small coterie of advisers traveling with him.”

The trio, without presenting evidence, also claimed that Trump had an “angry reaction,” that at one point, he was “especially upset,” and at another time, “he was furious.”

One of the few people quoted on the record was Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary of President Bill Clinton. Lockhart said videos showing Trump meeting with shooting victims and their families were “disgusting.”

The story also criticized the Trumps for posing with a baby whose parents were murdered in one of the shootings. The baby’s uncle said that he was the one who chose to take his nephew to meet the president and first lady.

President Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump visit family members of victims of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, at University Medical Center on Aug. 7, 2019. (FLOTUS/Twitter)

More on Haberman

Trump previously said that Haberman and ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, a former aide to Bill Clinton, laughed when they were told he’d win the presidency.

“You are one that said ‘Donald Trump is not going to win’ and then you smiled when I got into the race, and you laughed,” Trump told Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on June 16.

“You and Maggie Haberman would laugh, ‘Haha,’ that was so funny, and I will give your deputy chairman of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] credit. Because he looked at the two of you and said, sorry to tell you but Donald Trump is going to win.”

Neither Stephanopoulos or Haberman disputed the account.

Haberman also had a close relationship with Hillary Clinton’s camp, emails published by Wikileaks showed.

White House correspondent Maggie Haberman speaks at TheTimesCenter Stage in New York on May 9, 2018. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Showtime)

In a January 2015 email, Nick Merrill, the communications director for the Clinton campaign, wrote that the campaign has had a “very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year.”

“We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed,” Merrill continues. “While we should have a larger conversation in the near future about a broader strategy for reengaging the beat press that covers HRC, for this we think we can achieve our objective and do the most shaping by going to Maggie.”

The Times has defended her after a previous attack by Trump, saying they are “extremely proud” of Haberman.

Haberman hasn’t backed down from covering Trump and has even claimed to be able to understand his inner thoughts.

In a recent piece answering questions from readers, Haberman was asked if Trump liked The Times.

“I don’t know if I’d use the word ‘likes’ when describing President Trump’s feelings for The Times,” she said. “I do think the paper occupies a singular place in his psyche, representing, to him, the elites who he thought didn’t take him seriously when he was a developer from Queens trying to move into the Manhattan market.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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