NY Times Journos Rip Trump, Washington Examiner for Suggesting NYT Illegally Fed Info to FBI: ‘This is a Crap Story’


A number of New York Times journalists are up in arms over a report from the Washington Examiner, which was then amplified by President Donald Trump — who suggested that The Times illegally fed information to the FBI.

The Examiner published the text of an email from Times reporter Michael Schmidt to FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs Michael Kortan.

“Wanted to flag you on something,” Schmidt wrote in the email. “Three of my colleagues are working on a story about the Russia investigation. They’re told that Jared Kushner is among the individuals who the F.B.I. is scrutinizing for their meetings with Russians,” Schmidt said. “My colleagues were told that Ambassador Kislyak, after meeting Kushner and General Flynn in early December at Trump Tower, set up a meeting with Kushner and a Russian banker. Kushner ultimately met with the Russian banker. The banker worked for Alpha Bank. Thanks. Mike.”

The Examiner framed the correspondence thusly:

“A New York Times reporter fed information about Jared Kushner meeting with Russians to the FBI, newly released emails show.”

From there, the president took the ball and ran with it — suggesting the correspondence was illegal.

Times journalists were furious — calling out Trump and the Examiner for putting a wild spin on the standard journalistic practice of giving information to a source in an effort to procure further information.

“Gonna be a long 16 months of routine process ripped from context and made to sound bad,” wrote Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman. “Not new for potus, but a little surprising to see from a newspaper.”

Her colleague, Nick Confessore, went even further in bashing the Examiner.

“This is a crap story,” he wrote.

Schmidt, the reporter referenced in the Examiner piece, simply quoted Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger in response to the Trump tweet.

UPDATE –– 5:56 pm ET: The Examiner has since updated/corrected the report with this:

CORRECTION: The Washington Examiner has updated this story to: remove the characterization that the New York Times reporter “fed information” to the FBI; clarify when the email was written and when and to whom it was forwarded; include a post-publication response from the New York Times; and reflect the fact that four days after the email was sent the New York Times published a report headlined, “Senate Committee to Question Jared Kushner Over Meetings With Russians.” We regret that this story did not adhere to the Washington Examiner’s normal standards and procedures.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: joed@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo