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13 Nov, 2016 22:08

‘Highly inaccurate’: Trump picks Twitter fight with NY Times

On the same day he promised a more “restrained” approach to social media, Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets directed at the New York Times. The paper says that it reported on both candidates “fairly” during the race, but Trump does not agree.

“Wow, the @nytimes is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the ‘Trump phenomena’ [sic],” tweeted Trump on Sunday afternoon.

The New York Times has denied Trumps allegations, telling Politico that Trump misrepresented its latest circulation figures. While the print edition is selling more poorly, this has been offset by an even higher number of digital subscriptions.

“The @nytimes sent a letter to their subscribers apologizing for their BAD coverage of me. I wonder if it will change – doubt it?”

In an email to staff, sent on Friday by NY Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr, the newspaper, which both endorsed Hillary Clinton, and predicted her win, said that it “reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign,” but questioned if “Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?”

“As we reflect on this week’s momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism,” promised the publisher.

In a final tweet, Donald Trump wrote that “The @nytimes states today that DJT believes ‘more countries should acquire nuclear weapons.’ How dishonest are they. I never said this!”

Trump did appear open to the possibility that more countries should or will get their hands on nuclear missiles, although stopped short of saying he would assist this process as President.

“Well I think maybe it’s not so bad to have Japan – if Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us,” Trump told the NY Times itself in March.

He also said he would not be unduly alarmed if South Korea and Saudi Arabia acquired nuclear missiles, telling CNN, also in March, that “it’s going to happen anyway, it’s only a question of time.”

In a pre-recorded interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, which aired on Sunday night, Trump promised that his outbursts on social media would become less frequent.

“I’m going to be very restrained, if I use it at all, I’m going to be very restrained,” the president-elect said about posting on Twitter once he assumes power.

At the same time Trump was not shy in crediting social media with propelling him over the line in an election where his “ground game” appeared to lag behind, while most media were dismissive.

“The fact that I have such power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera, I think it helped me win all of these races where they're spending much more money than I spent,” Trump said. “And I won. I think that social media has more power than the money they spent, and I think maybe to a certain extent, I proved that.”