President Donald Trump launched a wild tweet storm on Saturday morning to attack New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman by name as a “third rate reporter” following a Friday story about his attorney Michael Cohen.
Trump also defended Cohen, whose records were recently seized by the FBI, and made some startling claims about how “most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories.”
The series of tweets appeared to respond to Haberman’s Friday story that questioned Cohen’s continued loyalty to Trump now that he himself may be under legal jeopardy and quoted longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone saying “Donald goes out of his way to treat [Cohen] like garbage.”
Trump was in such a rush on Saturday that he deleted and retweeted some of his messages to correct typos and spelling mistakes, including at first adding an extra B to Haberman’s name.
He derided the veteran journalist as “a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip.’”
The president also accused the paper, without substantiation, of using “nonexistent ‘sources’ and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael.” The latter is an apparent reference to Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide who is quoted in Haberman’s Friday story and who announced last month he was seeking treatment following a series of bizarre TV interviews.
The Times quickly responded in a tweet that the paper is “extremely proud” of Haberman, “who is part of a team that just won a Pulitzer Prize.”
We are extremely proud of @maggieNYT, who is a part of a team that just won a Pulitzer Prize. We stand by our story and our reporting. Here’s the link to the story by @maggieNYT, @SharonLNYT and @dannyhakim: https://t.co/fyKRwkstBy pic.twitter.com/SBylg2tbub
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) April 21, 2018
Haberman, who joined the Times in 2015 after five years at Politico, offered her own commentary, noting that the president had (initially) misspelled her last name.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 21, 2018