The sun rose in the east this morning, which means President Donald Trump’s fingers were busy tweeting. On the first full day of a 10-day vacation, he railed about an unflattering report in the “failing” New York Times, discussed his latest letter from BFF/pen pal/despot Kim Jong-un and said he plans to meet with the North Korean leader “in the not too distant future.”
After attending a pair of big-bucks fundraisers in New York on Friday, the president is ensconced at his Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey, where he’s scheduled to hang until August 18. His first tweet of the day was at 4:40 a.m. ET, in which he took issue with Pulitzer-winning Times reporter and CNN political analyst Haberman’s story headlined “Trump’s Trip to Dayton and El Paso: The Back Story.”
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The featured image with her co-bylined report was the instantly infamous shot of the president and first lady Melania Trump posing with the 2-month-old boy whose parents died shielding him from the gunfire at Walmart in El Paso last weekend. In it, the president is smiling broadly and giving the “thumbs up” sign.
The story’s lede noted that Trump was “was frustrated that his attacks on his political adversaries had resulted in more coverage than the cheery reception he received at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, the first stop on his trip. So he screamed at his aides to begin producing proof that in El Paso people were happy to see him.”
That resulted in the photo op. Here is what the president had to say about it:
Maggie Haberman of the Failing @nytimes reported that I was annoyed by the lack of cameras inside the hospitals in Dayton & El Paso, when in fact I was the one who stated, very strongly, that I didn’t want the Fake News inside & told my people NOT to let them in. Fake reporting!
After that tweet-and-run, Trump pivoted to what he referred to Friday as the “very beautiful letter” he received from Kim — which included “a small apology for testing short range missiles” this week — and hinted at another meeting of the two leaders:
….also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!
Then it was back to bashing the “dishonest and unhinged Lamestream Media,” which Trump insists has “never been more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt!”:
Never has the press been more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt! We are not fighting the Democrats, they are easy, we are fighting the seriously dishonest and unhinged Lamestream Media. They have gone totally CRAZY. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!