Top NYT Editor Admits Paper Was ‘Overly Cautious’ With New Trump Assault Allegation

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Dean Baquet speaks during the Fashion Group International, Night Of Stars 2018 at Cipriani Wall Street on October 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess)

The top editor of the New York Times admitted on Monday that the paper was “overly cautious” in its handling of an accusation of sexual assault against President Trump.

According to the Times’ “Reader Center,” the news organization wrote a story on advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s accusation against Trump on Friday night, but didn’t promote the story on the site’s homepage until the next morning. The story appeared in print on Sunday, two days after New York magazine published Carroll’s damning essay.

“We were overly cautious,” executive editor Dean Baquet told the paper, while pointing out that the Times has led the pack in coverage of the #MeToo movement.

The Times’ “Reader Center” said the newspaper received many questions about its coverage of Carroll’s story. MediaMatters noted that the story did not receive front-page coverage on other prominent national newspapers. And HuffPost reported that the news didn’t receive much airtime on the Sunday morning shows.

Carroll’s story in New York magazine was an excerpt of a book she is set to publish. In the excerpt, she describes Trump allegedly assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s. She described the alleged assault in detail: “The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle.”

Trump and the White House have denied Carroll’s accusation. In a statement Friday, Trump said, “I’ve never met this person in my life.”

On Saturday, when he was asked about a photo showing Trump and Carroll meeting at a party, the President was dismissive.

“There’s some picture where we’re shaking hands, it looks like at some kind of event. I have my coat on. I have my wife standing next to me,” Trump told reporters. “And I didn’t know her husband, but he was a newscaster, but I have no idea who she is, none whatsoever.”

Carroll spoke about the alleged assault Monday, telling CNN that she “fought” Trump during the alleged incident and that it was “against my will — 100 percent.”

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