President Donald Trump lashed out at The New York Times on Monday, claiming it reports with “evil” intentions and publishes lies.
“If you read the New York Times, it’s — the intent is so evil and so bad,” the president told Breitbart News in an interview Monday. “The stories are wrong in many cases, but it’s the overall intent.”
Trump referenced a front-page report published last May in which the Times relayed accounts from women who had interacted with him over a span of decades. As the Times’ reported, interviews with dozens of such women uncovered “unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct.”
The report’s lead anecdote featured Rowanne Brewer Lane, a former model who disputed the Times’ framing of her account days later. She accused the newspaper of spinning her story and putting “a negative connotation on it.”
Trump lamented in his interview with Breitbart that the Times didn’t apologize and accused the newspaper he commonly derides as the “failing” New York Times of reporting lies, a step further than his frequent cries of “fake news.”
“This was a front page article — almost the entire top half of the New York Times, and it was false. It was false,” Trump said. “Did they apologize? No. I call them the failing New York Times and they write lies. They write lies.”
He suggested, albeit indirectly, that Michael Barbaro, one of the two reporters who authored the story, shouldn’t be a journalist or allowed to report on him.
“When people read the story on the women — first of all, the reporter who wrote the story has a website full of hatred of Donald Trump,” he said. “So, he shouldn’t be allowed to be a reporter because he’s not objective. It’s not all, but it has many negative things about Donald Trump. But he shouldn’t be allowed to write on Donald Trump.”
For his part, Barbaro defended his reporting, tweeting: “A reminder. Nobody has sought a correction on this story since it’s publication or pointed out a single factual error.”
While Trump largely focused his fire on a familiar foe in The New York Times, he also blasted what he called “fake media” at large.
“There’s a difference,” the president said. “The fake media is the opposition party. The fake media is the enemy of the American people. There’s tremendous fake media out there. Tremendous fake stories. The problem is the people that aren’t involved in the story don’t know that.”
Trump didn’t identify what differentiates real media from fake media — he frequently highlights organizations and stories that are either critical of him or that he disagrees with as fake news — but White House aide Hope Hicks agreed with her boss. “Just the fact that they didn’t report that accurately proves your point,” she said during the interview, adding that reporters simply said the press, not fake news media, was the enemy of the American people, as he tweeted last week.
“I was talking about the fake media,” Trump clarified Monday, “where they make up everything there is to make up.”