Prior to heading to the golf course this morning, President Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets as he is wont to do. One of those tweets disclosed a meeting he had with New York Times published A.G. Sulzberger that Trump described as “very good and interesting.” The way the president saw it, the two spent much of the meeting discussing “the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Sad!”
Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
Sulzberger believed that the meeting was off-the-record, but once the president spouted off on Twitter about it, the publisher released a statement revealing what the real purpose of the meeting was and why he wanted to talk to Trump.
NEW: Statement from NYT publisher A.G. Sulzberger about his meeting with POTUS. "My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president's deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric…" pic.twitter.com/6xdhAjczmp
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 29, 2018
“My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric,” Sulzberger’s statement read. “I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.”
He continued, “I told him that although the phrase “fake news” is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists “the enemy of the people.” I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”
Sulzberger concluded his statement by noting that he wasn’t trying to get POTUS to “soften his attacks” on the NYT if Trump felt the coverage was unfair but instead “implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.”