President Trump speaks during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Oval Office of the White House on Saturday. (Associated Press)
President Trump unleashed a barrage of criticism against the New York Times in a series of tweets Saturday, describing the newspaper as “phony” over its coverage of his immigration policies and predicting it would cease to exist within six years.
"The New York Times Sanctuary Cities/Immigration story today was knowingly wrong on almost every fact," the president wrote. "They never call to check for truth. Their sources often don’t even exist, a fraud. They will lie & cheat anyway possible to make me look bad. In 6 years they will be gone………"
Maggie Haberman, the White House reporter for the Times, refuted Trump's accusation that the paper never reached out for comment.
"POTUS really ought to check in with his press team more often, or they with him. NYT emailed three times for comment and press office acknowledged receipt of emails," she tweeted.
Trump has repeatedly suggested releasing migrants into "sanctuary cities." A statement from the Department of Homeland Security to Fox News said the idea to release immigrant detainees onto the streets of sanctuary cities "was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion.”
Trump's follow-up post said the Times “begged” its subscribers for forgiveness over its "pathetic" 2016 election coverage of him. The tweet referred to a November 2016 letter from Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger that promised readers it would “reflect” on its coverage and rededicate itself to reporting on America and the world honestly."
"….When I won the Election in 2016, the @nytimes had to beg their fleeing subscribers for forgiveness in that they covered the Election (and me) so badly. They didn’t have a clue, it was pathetic. They even apologized to me. But now they are even worse, really corrupt reporting!," Trump wrote.
The Times denied apologizing to Trump.
Trump then denied a Times report that claimed he directed acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to close the U.S.-Mexico border and offered to pardon him if things went awry.
"I never offered Pardons to Homeland Security Officials, never ordered anyone to close our Southern Border (although I have the absolute right to do so, and may if Mexico does not apprehend the illegals coming to our Border), and am not “frustrated.” It is all Fake & Corrupt News!"