President-elect Donald Trump canceled a meeting with the New York Times, breaking the news via Twitter; hours later he said it was back on again.
According to a CNN report, the 70-year-old politician had agreed to meet with reporters and editors of the publication Tuesday, but canceled the meeting because “terms and conditions were changed at the last minute. Mr. Trump did not go into details about how the newspaper had modified the terms of the meeting.
The Manhattan billionaire tweeted that there was the likelihood another meeting could be arranged. He again blasted the publication about being biased in its reporting. Mr. Trump also mocked the New York Times for revealing that their number of complaints was a record high in 15-years, wondering aloud why they did not keep such embarrassing information under wraps.
In a November 19 article, the publication’s public editor, Liz Spayd had said complaints directed to her office, was “five times the normal level.” Spayd had pointed out that letters to the editor showed a “searing level of dissatisfaction out there with many aspects of the coverage.” Some complaints had hinged on the harsh treatment of Mr. Trump. Others had bashed the Times for being too cocky of Hillary Clinton’s winning prospects According to Spayd, the complaints were the highest since 9-11.
Mr. Trump said he could understand why there were a record number of complaints against the newspaper. According to the Inquisitr, the 70-year-old has criticized the New York Times on a number of occasions. In a slew of tweets just over a week ago, he had mocked the publication for losing thousands of subscribers because of their biased coverage of his campaign.
Times spokesman, Eileen Murphy confirmed that they had only learned of the cancellation from Trump’s Twitter account. She disagreed with the president-elect’s claim that the newspaper had reneged on “terms and conditions’ that had been agreed.
“We were unaware that the meeting was cancelled until we saw the President Elect’s tweet this morning. We did not change the ground rules at all and made no attempt to. They tried to yesterday-asking for only a private meeting and no on-the-record segment, which we refused to agree to. In the end, we concluded with them that we would go back to the original plan of a small off-the-record session and a larger on-the-record session with reporters and columnists.”
The president-elect later backtracked and said the meeting with the New York Times was back on, three hours after tweeting that the meeting had been canceled. Times spokesman, Eileen Murphy also confirmed the meeting with the publisher, columnists and journalists.
The New York Times Tuesday edition has a front-page story debating a conflict of interests that could arise with Mr. Trump as president. The newspaper called for an amendment in the constitution that would prevent public office-holders from profiting from foreign governments.
Many publications have also reported a clash of interests, the billionaire’s business interests might pose if he refuses to sell them off. The prime minister of Japan was the first leader to visit Trump. His daughter, Ivanka and son-in-law attended the meeting, leading to sharp criticisms that Trump was looking to mix politics with his successful business.
In addition, three Indian businessmen paid the president-elect a visit. The trio is overseeing the construction of a Trump luxury apartment complex in Mumbai. The Times has reported that Mr. Trump has allegedly asked British politician Nigel Farage to fight offshore wind farms because it would spoil the view of one of his golf courses in Scotland.
Trump’s meeting with The New York Times comes a day after he scolded over 25 top media executives and anchors at the Trump Tower. Representatives from CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, Fox Business News Network, CBS and MSNBC were present at the meeting.
Members of Trump’s team included chief strategist Stephen Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus, communications director Sean Spicer, spokesman Jason Miller, Trump’s wife, Melania and his son-in-law, Jared.
A source called the meeting a disaster with Trump calling the media people in the room “dishonest and deceitful liars.” The source said that the president-elect wanted the media to be more objective with their news reporting, but did himself no favors by singling out CNN and NBC as his arch enemies.
CNN president Jeff Zucker attended the meeting with on-air talent, Erin Burnett and Wolf Blitzer. Trump had allegedly told the president of the cable television network, “I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed.”
The Republican had complained about NBC consistently using unflattering pictures of him and referred to an ABC network correspondent who broke down in tears on air when it was obvious that Hillary had lost the elections. He did not refer to the network correspondent by name, but everyone knew it was Martha Raddatz.
[Featured Image by Randall Hill/AP Images]