Donald Trump backs out of meeting with New York Times because they wanted to be on the record, announces it on Twitter

UPDATE: It's back on

By Matthew Rozsa
November 22, 2016 6:50PM (UTC)
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President-elect Donald Trump gives the thumbs up as he arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 in Bedminster, N.J.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (AP)

While Republican presidential candidates are notorious for not getting along with the media, President-elect Donald Trump has been a special snowflake, even by GOP standards.

This was particularly evident on Tuesday he took to Twitter to announce a planned meeting with The New York Times was canceled.


Here's what Trump had to say, in a 6 a.m. tweetstorm.

The New York Times, which said that they only found out about Trump's cancellation from his tweets, said the president-elect's claims were bogus.

According to a statement by Eileen M. Murphy, the New York Times' senior vice president for communications, Trump was actually the one who tried to change the rules of the meeting, insisting that an on-the-record segment, on which both sides had previously agreed, be canceled.


"We were unaware that the meeting was canceled until we saw the president-elect’s tweet this morning," Murphy said. "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."

It's the second time Trump turned on the press after seemingly extending an olive branch in as many days.

Trump began the meeting by claiming that it was unprecedented for so many network news anchors to meet with a president-elect, according to NPR. When Wolf Blitzer corrected him and pointed out that it is actually traditional for presidents and presidents-elect to meet with members of the press, Trump pivoted to claim that the presence of the network executives made the meeting unprecedented.


Trump then reportedly went on rants against Jeffrey Zucker of CNN, NBC — who, among other things, he accused of always choosing pictures of him that had multiple chins — and an unspecified reporter who moderated one of the debates but was said to be upset when Clinton lost the election.

Although senior adviser Kellyanne Conway tried to intercede by saying that Trump wanted to hit the "resent" button with the press, participants seemed to agree that the old acrimony was still there. The meeting lasted for about an hour, with most of it being devoted questions about his policies and appointments after the initial awkward 10 to 15 minutes.


UPDATE: 10: 25 am 

CNN's Brian Stelter tweeted that the meeting is back on.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Cnn Donald Trump Lester Holt Media New York Times