Wa-Po fires back after Trump names two ‘nasty lightweight reporters’ not welcome on grounds

(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

President Trump’s angry message about two Washington Post reporters sparked a quick comeback from the paper’s executive editor calling the attack “unwarranted and dangerous.”

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron fired back at Trump after he suggested reporters Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker not be allowed on White House grounds for authoring an article critical of the president.

“The Washington Post staff is immensely proud to have these two superb journalists on staff,” Baron said in a statement shared by Post communications VP Kris Coratti.

“Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker have consistently demonstrated their integrity in covering the White House. We stand fully behind them and their important work,” he wrote. “The president’s statement fits into a pattern of seeking to denigrate and intimidate the press. It’s unwarranted and dangerous, and it represents a threat to a free press in this country.”

The article that set off the White House was published this week and called “Trump’s lost summer.” It described what some called a summer “defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.”

(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

An angered Trump blasted the “two nasty lightweight reporters” in a tweet on Saturday, calling them out for their “DISGUSTING & FAKE” work.

Trump’s new nickname for Rucker as “Mr. Off the Record” seemed to be tied to claims that he was the reporter who revealed off-the-record comments by former White House aide Madeleine Westerhout. Trump’s personal assistant resigned last week after her comments about the president’s family became known.

White House press secretaries Stephanie Grisham and Hogan Gidley also lashed out at The Washington Post for its errors and the article which they said was “an offensive, egregious affront to true news journalism.”

“From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Post had some pretty embarrassing moments,” the White House communications staffers wrote in an op-ed called “The Washington Post’s lost summer.”

“Whether it was incorrectly stating that presidents do not deliver remarks on the Fourth of July, ignoring speeches by Presidents Reagan, Kennedy, and Obama, or being called out for shoddy, politically motivated fact-checking, the Post’s lost summer culminated with a fateful day in August when it was forced to issue 15 corrections to a single article,” Grisham and Gidley wrote.

They also accused the publication of ignoring Trump’s accomplishments.

“The truth is, Trump racked up many well-documented victories that directly benefited the American people at home and abroad,” they wrote. “When the Post asked, the White House proudly provided it with a detailed list of the administration’s 26 most important successes of the summer. Of those 26 accomplishments, the Post chose to publish just four, which it buried under 11 paragraphs of editorialized critique.”

The op-ed slammed the Post for ignoring 84 percent of the president’s “actual summer accomplishments.”

The president’s son also got tangled with one of the newspaper’s reporters in a heated debate on Twitter Friday. Eric Trump sparked a firestorm when he revealed an email from Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold apparently looking for whistle-blowers among Trump Organization employees.

“If you ever want to get in touch with me, I’d be glad to talk ‘on background’, meaning I’d never use your name in any story, or tell anyone else that we spoke,” Fahrenthold wrote in what appeared to be an image of the letter that Eric Trump published.

“These are the tactics used by the @WashingtonPost. @JeffBezos – you should be very proud,” Trump tweeted.

Liberal journalists quickly defended Fahrenthold while criticizing Trump.

And while the left also rallied to defend the Post reporters over the direct attack by the president, many agreed with his ongoing contention that the media is biased against him.

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Frieda Powers

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