Trump Rags On His Favorite Paper as New Publisher Of NYT Takes Over

President Donald Trump on Tuesday demanded that the New York Times’ new publisher enforce more positive coverage of his presidency and end the paper’s use of unnamed sources, though Trump and his administration regularly go off-record and cite unnamed sources themselves.

The Times’ new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, formally took over the role from his father on Jan. 1. The “apology” Trump mentioned presumably refers to a November 2016 open letter to readers from the Times’ then-publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and Executive Editor Dean Baquet. They didn’t actually apologize — though Trump characterized the letter as such — but rather asked: “Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?”

The Times responded to Trump on Tuesday by posting an existing note from its new leader:

The President recently delivered a one-sided interview with the Times’ Michael Schmidt, in which he asserted, among other things, that the media would conspire to tilt the 2020 presidential election in his favor because “[w]ithout me, the New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times.”

Trump has often cited unnamed sources to support his own claims, and during his days as a tabloid star and real estate developer called reporters pretending to be his own spokesperson — “John Miller” or “John Barron,” reporters and editors told the Washington Post — offering juicy personal news.

White House officials regularly insist on giving news outlets — including TPM — information on an off-the-record or background basis.

As recently as late December, Mother Jones’ Rebecca Leber noted, “senior administration officials” hosted a lengthy conference call with reporters in which they praised the President’s accomplishments during his first year in office. They refused, when asked, to attach their names to the praise.

This post has been updated.