President Donald Trump woke up mad on Saturday and decided to spout his anger on Twitter, where he took aim at two Washington Post reporters, saying they “shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House” because of a story he didn’t like. In a tweet he sent out at 7:09 a.m., Trump called Philip Rucker, whom he referred to as “Mr. Off the Record” and Ashley Parker “nasty lightweight reporters” whose “reporting is so DISGUSTING & FAKE.”
The president’s tweet linked to an op-ed piece by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley published Thursday in the Washington Examiner that criticized the Washington Post for a Sept. 1 article about the Trump administration’s “lost summer defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.” The reporters “published an opinion article they claimed was news but that instead pushed their own personal political narrative that President Trump had a ‘lost summer’ of squandered opportunities and few accomplishments,” Grisham and Gidley wrote.
The Washington Post defended Rucker and Parker, with Executive Editor Martin Baron characterizing the two as “superb journalists” who “have consistently demonstrated their integrity in covering the White House.” Trump’s tweet, Baron added, “fits into a pattern of seeking to denigrate and intimidate the press. It’s unwarranted and dangerous, and it represents a threat to a free press in this country.”
The Washington Post has become a favorite target of Trump, who frequently refers to the media outlet as the “Amazon Washington Post.” On Friday, Eric Trump publicly criticized Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold over an email he sent to an employee of the Trump Organization seeking sources within the company. Fahrenthold later published a short video in response to the tweet explaining his reporting process.