NYT’s Dean Baquet Blows Off Trump’s Slams: ‘Pretty Clear’ He Doesn’t ‘Listen to Experts’


New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet swatted down President Donald Trump’s latest attacks against the paper while defending their reporting on the federal government’s coronavirus response.

On Sunday, Baquet joined CNN’s Brian Stelter to talk about the Times’ latest reports, which took an extensive dive into the Trump administration’s insufficient action against the spread of Covid-19 early on. From the story, Baquet said it was “pretty clear” that government officials were talking about the possibility of a crisis for months, and “the president and people around him don’t listen to experts.”

“I will also add, because the president has chosen to attack it, it is based on many on-the-record interviews, documents. There is a tremendous email chain among scientists inside and outside the government where they talk about the growing crisis. So, I would suggest that people read it, rather than take the president’s tweet at its word. It is a very well-documented, powerful chapter in understanding why the government was so slow in dealing with this pandemic.”

Baquet was referring to the fact that before the Times published their stories, Trump railed against them and Washington Post by claiming they both make up anonymous sources in order to report “fake news.”

In response, Baquet continued to shrug off Trump’s attacks, saying “if anybody reads the stories he’s referring to, they will see quotes from emails within the government, quotes from reports from within the government, on-the-record interviews from people within the government. Yes, there are some anonymous sources, but largely, this is a very powerful portrait inside the government, based on the writings and the words of people in the government.”

“I would actually hope that people read the story and the headline,” Baquet said. “I would hope that the president reads it, because I think his tweet maybe indicates that he had not read it. And I think he will see a very important historic portrait of a government that was slow to deal with crisis.”

We’re going to do everything we can to find out precisely when this was known and all of the government’s reactions,” Baquet continued, “because that’s our mission and that’s our job. It’s the job of the Washington Post, the job of the Wall Street Journal. That’s our role in the story.”

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