After President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday morning on Twitter that his meeting with the New York Times had been canceled “when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment,” his spokeswoman announced the meeting was back on.
“The meeting is taking place as planned,” Hope Hicks told reporters.
“Trump will meet with our publisher off-the-record and on-the-record meeting with our journalists and editorial columnists,” the Times said.
Trump had been scheduled to do the same, reportedly to be accompanied in the meeting by adviser Kellyanne Conway, daughter Ivanka Trump and chief of staff Reince Priebus, before he abruptly canceled via Twitter Tuesday morning. Trump called the supposed change “not nice” and said the paper covers him “inaccurately” and “with a nasty tone.” Trump had said a new meeting may be scheduled.
The New York Times said it hadn’t been aware the meeting had been canceled until Trump tweeted. The paper said it never attempted to change the terms of the meeting.
“We did not change the ground rules at all and made no attempt to,’’ Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said. “They tried to yesterday — asking for only a private meeting and no on-the-record segment, which we refused to agree to.”
She said “we concluded with them that we would go back to the original plan of a small off-the-record session and a larger on-the-record session with reporters and columnists.”
The Times has been the target of criticism from Trump, who alleges the establishment media is biased against him. During the campaign he threatened to sue the paper over its coverage of allegations he had touched women inappropriately, and he also rejected stories about his taxes and the Trump University suit. The president-elect frequently refers to the paper as “failing.” The Times reported last week it had added 41,000 new subscriptions following Trump’s election as president.
The president-elect had a defiant relationship with mainstream media during his campaign, frequently barred specific news outlets from obtaining press credentials to cover his campaign rallies. He objected to critical coverage by saying outlets were lying about him and were part of a “rigged system” working to get Democrat Hillary Clinton elected.
Trump’s meeting with the Times will follow one he held Monday with television news executives and reporters. The off-the-record encounter was attended by on-air reporters Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Martha Raddatz and George Stephanopolis of ABC, and Lester Holt of NBC, among others. Trump took the opportunity to criticize reporters and networks for their coverage of him, calling some out by name, meeting attendees said.
Conway called that meeting “very cordial, very productive, very congenial.”
Trump has not held a press conference since July.