Trump Meeting with New York Times is Back On after Early-Morning Twitter Tirade

Donald Trump's meeting with the New York Times (NYT)  is back on after the president-elect initially cancelled it in an early-morning Twitter tirade on Tuesday morning.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told a pool reporter that Trump would meet with the Times after all despite tweeting earlier in the day he had decided against it. The publication confirmed the reversal, adding that the real estate magnate will meet with its publisher off-the-record and with journalists and editorial columnists for an on-the-record segment. Trump tweeted about the change as well

The president-elect sent out a series of tweets at around 6 a.m. Eastern Time saying he would call off a scheduled encounter with the Times, alleging "the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment" and calling the move "not nice." The Times denied Trump's account of the events and noted it only discovered his decision to cancel the meeting when it saw the tweet this morning.

I cancelled today's meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016

"We were unaware that the meeting was canceled until we saw the president-elect's tweet this morning. We did not change the ground rules at all and made no attempt to," said the Times' senior vice president of communications, Eileen M. Murphy, in a statement, "They tried to yesterday -- asking for only a private meeting and no on-the-record segment, which we refused to agree to. In the end, 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."

In a separate tweet, Trump said he would be open to setting up a new meeting. In another, he said the company had announced that complaints about it are at a 15-year high.

Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016

The failing @nytimes just announced that complaints about them are at a 15 year high. I can fully understand that - but why announce?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016

The Times said the latter appears to be a reference to a piece by Liz Spayd, its public editor, who noted a surge of letter to the editors since the election rivals the one following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment on to what the president-elect was referring.

Tuesday's events mark the latest chapter in Trump's ongoing battle against the Times. He attacked the publication and its journalists on numerous occasions on the campaign trail, calling columnist Maureen Dowd "crazy" and accusing journalist Michael Barbaro of writing a "proven false story" about his relationship with women in May.

Since the election, he's tweeted about the Times on numerous occasions. The publication says it has seen a bump in subscriptions.

Television media executives and anchors met with Trump in an off-the-record gathering at Trump Tower on Monday, and according to accounts from the encounter laid into attendees. He criticized CNN's Jeff Zucker by name and issued thinly-veiled critiques of NBC's Katy Tur and ABC's Martha Raddatz, according to a report from the New York Post. One source told the Post it had been like a "firing squad."

Former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway disputed the account during an interview with Bloomberg Politics' "With All Due Respect." When speaking to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower on Monday, she described the gathering as "cordial" and "productive."

Trump has made a practice of utilizing social media to circumvent the press and typical intermediaries between the presidency and constituents. In an interview with "60 Minutes," his first since being elected president, he called Twitter a "great form of communication" that helps him to get the word out. 

"When you give me a bad story or when you give me an inaccurate story or when somebody other than you and another network, or whatever, 'cause of course, CBS would never do a thing like that right? I have a method of fighting back," he said, adding he plans to "do very restrained" tweeting once he is inaugurated -- something that might be bad for Twitter, if it actually were to happen

Trump's transition team leveraged another media format, Alphabet's  (GOOGL) YouTube, on Monday when it released a video of the president-elect outlining some of his policy plans for his first 100 days in office. He said he would withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, end energy restrictions, seek to defend American infrastructure from cyber attacks, direct the Department of Labor to investigate abuses of visa programs and take steps toward ethics reform. Trump last week announced plans to enact a five-year ban on lobbying for administration officials.

He made no mention of some of the more controversial ideas he laid out on the campaign trail, including a ban on Muslim immigration and mass deportation.

The Trump camp on Tuesday morning broke with one of its pre-election plans: to investigate Hillary Clinton. Conway said in an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the Trump administration would not pursue investigations into the former secretary of state's email use or the Clinton Foundation. At the second presidential debate in October, Trump said he would instruct his attorney general to "look into [her] situation."

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