Trump and the Times
A day after reports of Trump's deeply adversarial powwow with television news anchors and execs, the president-elect's plans to meet with the New York Times were off to a similarly bad start.
"I cancelled today's meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment," The Donald tweeted. "Not nice."
The Times, however, denied doing so: "NYT did not try to change ground rules. Trump did, asking for only a private meeting and no on-the-record segment, which NYT refused," said the Times' Jonathan Mahler.
But eventually the two parties cleared everything up, and once the meeting got going, Times reporters met a much different Donald than the one on the campaign trail.
“'I don’t want to hurt the Clintons,' Donald Trump said of prosecuting Hillary Clinton," tweeted the Times' Twitter account. The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus had this to add: "Trump, who for a year referred to 'Crooked Hillary,' says prosecuting her isn't 'something I feel v strongly about.'"
What's more, Trump took a less denialist approach to climate change, which at one point he called a Chinese "hoax." Kirk Johnson of the Times says, "In meeting @nytimes Trump says he will 'keep an open mind' about pulling US out of global pact on climate change."
The outlet's Jack Healy was stunned: "Amazingly, being on-record with the new president yields Actual News rather than nameless contradictory quotes."
In turn, Trump was pleased with the Times as well: "Early this morning, Trump tweeted he was canceling meeting with the 'failing' NYT," tweeted Josh Dawsey of the Wall Street Journal. "This afternoon, Trump called NYT 'a jewel of the world.'"
Not so fast on Trump's kumbaya moment with the press...
When the Times still thought Trump had cancelled the meeting, that outlet's Nicholas Kristof had an idea why: "This article about Trump trying to monetize a meeting with British visitors may be a reason Trump is steaming at NYT."
The article, by the Times' Danny Hakim and Eric Lipton, alleged that Trump has reignited a fight against British wind farms in an area where he has a golf course interest.
"Trump wants populist rising that won Brexit & 2016 to go next to keeping wind farms from blocking golf course views," tweets Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere.
The Financial Times' Christine Spolar had another big takeaway from the piece: "...read pls how spox first denied & then declined to comment." NYT's Binjamin Appelbaum agreed: "A valuable reminder that Trump spokespeople are regularly caught telling lies"
"At some point the Times will need a phrase other than 'raises new questions' to discuss Trump and his businesses," says former NYT and Mashable editor Jim Roberts,
Kushner the Conqueror?
At Forbes, Steven Bertoni has an "exclusive" interview with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner who basically says it was he who won his wife's dad the White House.
"Kushner, who denied being really involved in Trump campaign as recently as May, now takes credit for whole thing," says The New York Times' Maggie Haberman.
The National Journal's Ben Pershing is skeptical: "This story confidently asserts Trump won bc of Facebook targeting. Maybe true, but where's the actual evidence."
And then there's this from former Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson: "People walked onto a winning campaign claim credit for winning but it belongs to those who were there from beginning." She later quoted that tweet but also clarifed that "Jared is the man," before finally bringing criticism back around on "the media":
"The media is so unhinged that you can't give credit or shout outs to people you respect & admire w/o it being twisted to fit their sickness."
Foundation frustrations are here to stay
All campaign long, the Washington Post's David Farenthold was relentless in his reporting on the Trump Foundation and Donald's other supposed charity activity. Now that Trump is the president-elect, Farenthold hasn't backed down—a fact not lost on the Dallas Morning News' J. David McSwane when he tweets Farenthold's latest story out but adds "The U.S. President" to the headline: "The U.S. President -> Trump Foundation admits to violating ban on ‘self-dealing,’ new filing to IRS shows."
Mike Wereshagin of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says, "The Trump Foundation could save some cash on tax prep if it sent the IRS a note saying 'Just read @Fahrenthold.'"
"Trump, whose charity broke self-dealing rules, wants you to trust that he won't self-deal with US govt," warns the Washington Post's Drew Harwell.
And Elite Daily's John Hatiwanger has a similarly skeptical take: "Don't be surprised if President Trump allocates your tax dollars for his personal use."
And finally, Bernie Sanders learns about the hippity hoppity
Jason Zengerle of GQ Magazine has a great interview with Senator Bernie Sanders that's full of fascinating quotes, including one where Bernie assuages progressive's worries over potential anti-corporate collaborations with Donald Trump: "It's not a question of us working with Trump. It's a question of Trump working with us."
But the passage receiving the most attention on Twitter came when Zengerle brought up the staunch Sanders supporter Killer Mike... who made Sanders "a little bit nervous" when he heard a "Killer" wanted to meet with him.
"Bernie: 'Killer Mike has never killed anybody.' omg," tweets the Washington Post's Elizabeth Bruenig
Meanwhile, here's the Intercept's Ziad Jilani with at least one good thing to come out of 2016: "Bernie learned about rap during this campaign."