New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman said on Sunday that the public shouldn’t be surprised by President Donald Trump’s often inflammatory statements, as he “often tells the truth.”
“Trump lies frequently, or tells falsehoods frequently, or stretches the truth frequently, but he also often tells the truth, which is ‘What’s the big deal? I didn’t understand what I did,'” she said.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Haberman told host Brian Stelter that people shouldn’t be “looking for some deeper motive behind everything” Trump says or does.
She gave the example of Trump’s interview with British tabloid The Sun, where he harshly criticized U.S. ally and British Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiating tactics. The Sun is owned by New York media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
“It was a favor to Rupert Murdoch. That’s what he told people. That’s why he did it. It was not because he had some pre-planned strategy about shaking things up, or disrupting the global order,” said Haberman.
Haberman also commented on the diminishing frequency of White House press conferences, saying “they have become of questionable value for the administration,” but for the media, they are valuable. “They need to continue,” she said.
Haberman has made headlines recently for criticizing the president’s favorite social media platform, calling Twitter an “anger video game.” Earlier this month, Haberman announced that she would stop engaging with readers on Twitter, instead using the platform solely as a way to find and share stories.
“Everything is shrunken down to the same size and looks the same,” Haberman said of Twitter on CNN. “A complaint about an airline losing your luggage looks the same as a presidential statement and I don’t know that that’s a great thing.”
Haberman commented on Trump’s own use of the platform, where he has directly targeted the New York Times writer, calling her a “third rate reporter.”
“What Trump has benefitted from for decades is dividing the conquering the media. He’s exceptional at it,” said Haberman. “He infuses the media with a level of power that no other president has. He treats us not just as the opposition party, but as equals almost. And by doing that he makes us the story, and I don’t want to be the story.”