Trump Calls NY Times ‘Sick and Desperate’ After Writers Try Blaming Editors for Major Omission

September 18, 2019 Updated: September 18, 2019

President Donald Trump slammed The New York Times after two reporters who authored a book about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh blamed editors for an omission that resulted in the paper issuing a major correction for an article based on their book.

The writers, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, claimed that the editors removed crucial information from the article — information that severely undermined the legitimacy of a sexual assault claim against Kavanaugh.

But Pogrebin and Kelly failed to mention the exculpatory information themselves when speaking to NPR for an interview about the story. The interview was recorded before the article was published but placed online after the correction was issued.

Trump slammed the paper late Sept. 17, writing on Twitter: “The New York Times is now blaming an editor for the horrible mistake they made in trying to destroy or influence Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”

“It wasn’t the editor, the Times knew everything. They are sick and desperate, losing in so many ways!” he added.

No editors at the paper have responded to the claim by the writers.

Trump, who has called for everyone involved in the situation at the paper to resign, retweeted a missive posted by Laura Ingraham of Fox News who reacted to the editing error claim by writing: “Which @nytimes editor deleted the salient fact that the alleged Kavanaugh victim neither recalled the incident nor agreed to an interview? Authors last night said the key fact was in original draft.”

Trump also shared a post by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who credited reporters for fact-checking Pogrebin and Kelly.

“This latest Kavanaugh ‘accusation’ reminds me an awful lot of the Russia story. Democrats and the mainstream press come out with a salacious (and false) accusation. And we only learn the truth because of hard work by a handful of good reporters,” he wrote.

Trump shared a piece by one of those reporters, Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist, who noted that the writers made another major error while promoting their book.

In a piece utilizing information from their book and published in “The Atlantic,” the writers said that the claim by Deborah Ramirez rang true to them in part because none of the people she said witnessed the alleged event stepped forward to deny it.

Brett Kavanaugh waits before being sworn-in as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court in the East room of the White House
Brett Kavanaugh waits before being sworn-in as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in the East room of the White House on Oct. 8, 2018. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

That allegation was wrong: two of the men told The New Yorker last year that they never saw or heard about the event, along with the wife of a third student Ramirez named.

“We were the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale. He was a roommate to some of us, and we spent a great deal of time with him, including in the dorm where this incident allegedly took place. Some of us were also friends with Debbie Ramirez during and after her time at Yale. We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it—and we did not,” the group, which included another classmate, Dan Murphy, said.

“The behavior she describes would be completely out of character for Brett. In addition, some of us knew Debbie long after Yale, and she never described this incident until Brett’s Supreme Court nomination was pending.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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