Reuters Editor Apologizes for Blaming Trump for Newsroom Shooting

“I am sorry for my comments, which I quickly deleted and have disavowed,” Rob Cox says about tweeting “blood is on your hands” to president

Capital Gazette Shootings
Getty Images

A Reuters editor has apologized for telling President Trump that “blood is on your hands” after the deadly Capital Gazette shootings.

Reuters Breakingviews editor Rob Cox tweeted, “This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul.”

Cox’s tweet drew heavy backlash and he deleted it, tweeting soon after that it was “fair enough” to call him out for the comments, and denouncing “vilifying any category of people.”

Cox formally apologized hours later, saying that he “responded emotionally and inappropriately,” to news of the shootings. “Though my comments were entirely personal, they were not in keeping with the Reuters Trust Principles and my own standards for letting facts, not snap judgments, guide my understanding.”

Cox added that he had been in a state of “emotional distress” due both to his “experience as a member of the community of Newtown, Connecticut in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy,” and “the possibility that my colleagues in the press were being targeted.”

“I am sorry for my comments, which I quickly deleted and have disavowed, and especially remorseful if they did anything to distract from the thoughts and love we must send to the community of Annapolis,” Cox concluded.

Reuters editor in chief Steve Adler followed up with a statement on behalf of the news organization Thursday night.

“Earlier this evening, Reuters Breakingviews Editor Rob Cox tweeted about the shooting in Annapolis, Maryland. He has since deleted the tweet and apologized,” said Adler. “Mr. Cox’s actions were inconsistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles requiring journalists to maintain freedom from bias. We do not condone his behavior and will take appropriate action.”

See Cox’s full apology below: