Donald Trump’s tempestuous relations with the mainstream news media flared again early Tuesday morning when the president-elect abruptly canceled — and then reset — a meeting with the New York Times.
Trump’s transition team let it be known on Monday that he would be meeting Tuesday with journalists from the Times, a day after a session with top TV news journalists at Trump Tower in which Trump scolded them for what he deemed unfair and unflattering coverage of his campaign.
Early Tuesday, Trump sent a tweet asserting that he had cancelled the Times meeting after the “terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment.”
Eileen Murphy, senior vice president for communications at the Times, said in a statement that the news organization had not changed the meeting’s conditions, and had learned about the news by reading Trump’s tweets. By 10 a.m. ET, the meeting was back on, Murphy said.
Trump “will meet with our publisher off-the-record and that session will be followed by an on-the-record meeting with our journalists and editorial columnists,” Murphy said.
According to the Times, Trump’s camp approached them on Monday and asked for the meeting to be completely off-the-record, which the paper refused. The meeting, the paper said, was intended to be mostly on-the-record with a “small off-the-record session.”
“I cancelled today’s meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice,” Trump tweeted. “Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!”
This latest spat is one of a number of attacks Trump had directed toward the New York Times in recent weeks.
Read Murphy’s first full statement below:
“We were unaware that the meeting was canceled 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.”