Trump to Tell Federal Agencies To Cut New York Times And Washington Post Subscriptions
White House plans to direct government staffers to not renew orders with the newspapers, whose coverage he has disparaged as ‘fake’. Trump to Tell Federal Agencies To Cut New York Times And Washington Post Subscriptions
The White House is planning to instruct federal agencies to not renew their subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post, administration officials said, escalating President Trump’s attacks on the media outlets.
“Not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving—hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be saved,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an email Thursday.
Ms. Grisham declined to provide further details, and it wasn’t immediately clear how the White House intended to compel agencies to cancel the subscriptions or how soon the order would take effect. The White House was still working on implementing the directive as of Thursday morning, an administration official said.
Spokeswomen for the Times and the Post declined to comment.
The decision comes days after Mr. Trump told his staff to cancel the White House’s print subscriptions to the Post and the Times after expressing frustration with their coverage.
“We don’t even want it in the White House anymore,” Mr. Trump said of the Times during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity that aired Monday night. “We’re going to probably terminate that and the Washington Post. They’re fake.”
Print editions of the Times and the Post weren’t among the newspapers delivered to the White House on Thursday, a White House official said.
The president has repeatedly railed against and sought to discredit the newspapers’ coverage of his administration, including its dealings with Ukraine and the resulting impeachment inquiry in the House. On Twitter and during campaign rallies, Mr. Trump has attacked the news media, calling it the “enemy of the people” and dismissing some of the country’s most venerable journalism outlets as “fake news.”
In June, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that a Times story represented a “virtual act of Treason.” The publisher of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, responded with an opinion article in The Wall Street Journal, saying the “new attack crosses a dangerous line in the president’s campaign against a free and independent press.”
Mr. Trump is an avid consumer of the news, and he regularly reads the Times and the Post, according to aides who privately acknowledged that they expect him to continue doing so despite the directive.
It wasn’t immediately known how many subscriptions to the Times and the Post the federal government has. Federal employees are eligible for free digital subscriptions to the Post using their government email addresses.
Officials at the General Services Administration and the White House Office of Management and Budget didn’t immediately provide data about the total number of subscriptions.
Government officials read and rely on the country’s major newspapers, which have reporters stationed around the country and across the globe and document everything from bombings in Syria to the passage of bills in Congress. Canceling the subscriptions could limit officials’ access to vital information that could assist them in doing their jobs. Trump To Tell Federal,Trump To Tell Federal,Trump To Tell Federal,Trump To Tell Federal,Trump To Tell Federal,Trump To Tell Federal