Donald Trump Launches Twitter Rant at New York Times, Calling Them "Fools" Over Transition Story
The Times piece suggested the president-elect's transition team is in a state of disarray.
President-elect Donald Trump fired back at The New York Times on Wednesday in a series of early-morning tweets, calling the newspaper "fools" for their "false" story on his transition team troubles.
Beginning around 6:30 a.m. ET, Trump took to Twitter to shoot down details of the New York paper's Tuesday story, titled "Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray." The Times cited two firings within the transition team — in addition to Gov. Chris Christie's replacement with Vice President-elect Mike Pence — as a "purge" orchestrated by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. The story detailed infighting and problems with Trump's diplomatic communications, quoting an anonymous American ally.
"This was a typically false news story," Trump tweeted, adding that he is not pushing for top-level security clearance for his children. About the "failing" story, he said his transition is going "so smoothly" and that he has spoken to many foreign leaders.
He then said the Times "looked like fools" in their coverage.
I am not trying to get "top level security clearance" for my children. This was a typically false news story.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
The failing @nytimes story is so totally wrong on transition. It is going so smoothly. Also, I have spoken to many foreign leaders.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
I have recieved and taken calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing @nytimes said. Russia, U.K., China, Saudi Arabia, Japan,— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
Australia, New Zealand, and more. I am always available to them. @nytimes is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
The Times story noted that Trump's advisers said the issues were not unusual for an incoming president.
The Washington Post also posted a report Tuesday night, further detailing the "bloodletting" and growing turbulence within the team. "Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions," Trump first tweeted Tuesday night as criticism began to bubble.
Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
Trump has been widely critical of the media and his tweeting has become a major focus throughout his run.
On Tuesday morning, as Hillary Clinton continued to lead in the popular vote, Trump also used the social media site to praise the Electoral College, something he had previously described as a "disaster for democracy."
During his first interview as president-elect with 60 Minutes on Sunday, he said he plans to continue to share his thoughts to his collective 28 million followers on social media. "It's a modern form of communication," he said, noting that it's his way of fighting back against inaccurate reports. He did, however, add that after he is sworn in his social media behavior will be "very restrained."
Also Tuesday night, Trump again bucked media protocol when he left his Trump Tower for a family dinner. His campaign had already called a "lid" — a practice telling journalists if the president or president-elect will no longer be venturing out, as they are on hand to report first-hand accounts — when he met his family at the nearby restaurant 21 Club.
The president-elect had also traveled from New York to Washington last week without the usual pool of journalists.