President-elect Donald Trump invited major media moguls to Trump Tower for a face-to-face meeting on Monday, and a source claims the billionaire confronted them in a session that was described as a “f—ing firing squad.”
“It was like a f—ing firing squad,” a source told the New York Post after the hour-long scolding, which was supposed to be off the record.
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,'” the source reportedly told the Post.
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source said.
A second source told the Post that Trump ripped into media bigwigs and anchors, calling them “liars.”
“The meeting took place in a big board room, and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the second source said.
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars.
“Trump didn’t say [NBC reporter] Katy Tur by name, but talked about an NBC female correspondent who got it wrong, then he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate – which was Martha Raddatz, who was also in the room.”
According to the paper, some reporters asked Trump what to expect with regard to access to the incoming president.
The Post quoted the source: “[CBS Good Morning co-host Gayle] King did not stand up, but asked some question, ‘How do you propose we the media work with you?’ Chuck Todd asked some pretty pointed questions. David Muir asked, ‘How are you going to cope living in D.C. while your family is in NYC?
“It was a horrible meeting.”
However, Politico reported that another source described the meeting as less intense.
“[The source] said the discussion included Trump expressing the possibility of a ‘reset’ of the tumultuous relationship between the president-elect and the media and that all he wants is ‘fairness,'” Politico reported.
Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway appeared to approve, saying the president-elect hosted an “excellent” get-together.
“Excellent meetings with the top executives of the major networks,” she said in the lobby of Trump Tower. “Pretty unprecedented meeting we put together in two days.”
As for the Post’s report, Conway later told Bloomberg Politics’ “With All Due Respect” that the Post sources’ accounts weren’t entirely accurate.
“No, that’s not true at all,” she said. I sat right to his left. He did not explode in anger.”
She continued, “By the way, it’s an off-the-record meeting, so whoever said that and mischaracterized it should think twice. But no, he did not explode in anger.”
The Post said some attendees included NBC’s Deborah Turness, Lester Holt and Chuck Todd; ABC’s James Goldston, George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Martha Raddatz; CBS’ Norah O’Donnell John Dickerson, Charlie Rose, Christopher Isham and King; Fox News’ Bill Shine, Jack Abernethy, Jay Wallace, Suzanne Scott; MSNBC’s Phil Griffin; and CNN’s Jeff Zucker and Erin Burnett.
Trump reportedly plans to meet with New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger on Tuesday.