WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has cancelled the subscription of leading American dailies The Washington Post and The New York Times, calling them “fake” and asked other federal agencies to do the same, according to a media report.
Trump’s unusual move came days after he hinted of the same in an interview with the Fox News.
Trump Monday termed The New York Times a fake newspaper, saying that “we don’t even want it in the White House anymore”. “We’re going to probably terminate that (The Times) and The Washington Post,” he said. “They’re fake,” The New York Times quoted him saying in the interview.
Officials in the West Wing Thursday announced that copies of the two newspapers would no longer be delivered to the White House and the administration is moving to force other federal agencies to end their subscriptions to the papers, as well, the NYT report said. According to a report, Trump called members of the press enemies of the people, deemed critical coverage fake, accused news organisations of treason and threatened to make it easier to sue journalists for libel.
Not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be saved, White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement. Meanwhile, officials from The Post and The Times declined to comment.
The White House remains a significant customer of print journalism: copies of The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Financial Times and other publications are delivered to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue every morning, along with Trump’s preferred first read, The New York Post, the report said.
The president remains a rabid absorber of the wider media landscape, frequently commenting on what he sees on cable news and sending handwritten notes to journalists, often scrawled on printouts of their articles, it said.
Reacting to the news, Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said on Thursday, I have no doubt the hardworking reporters of The New York Times and Washington Post will continue to do quality journalism, regardless of whether the president acknowledges he reads them.”
“Pretending to ignore the work of a free press won’t make the news go away or stop reporters from informing the public and holding those in power accountable, he said.
This is not the first time that newspaper subscriptions have been cancelled by the US presidents. In 1962, John F. Kennedy, apparently fed up with the coverage of The New York Herald Tribune, decreed that copies of that newspaper would no longer be delivered to the White House, the report said. PTI