Trump rips 'phony' New York Times columnist who called him a 'racist'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE on Friday mocked New York Times opinion columnist Thomas Friedman's appearance and dismissed the writer as a "phony" after he penned a column calling the president a "racist" and "woman-abusing jerk."

Trump reacted in a series of tweets to a Friedman column published Tuesday, titled "Trump’s Going to Get Re-elected, Isn’t He?," in which Friedman fretted that the president will win the 2020 election if Democrats don't nominate a centrist candidate capable of winning over moderate voters.


"Thomas 'the Chin' Friedman, a weak and pathetic sort of guy, writes columns for The New York Times in between rounds of his favorite game, golf," Trump tweeted. "Two weeks ago, while speaking to a friend on his cell phone, I unfortunately ended up speaking to Friedman."

The president went on to claim that Friedman "could not have been nicer or more respectful" — but then he saw the column after the call.

"Really Nasty to me in his average I.Q. Columns, kissed my a.. on the call. Phony!" Trump tweeted.

Friedman responded to Trump later Friday morning over the course of several tweets. The columnist said he spoke to Trump after the president's "senator friend" asked him to, and that he praised Trump for refraining from bombing Iran.

It's unclear who Friedman was referring to, but Trump golfed on Saturday with Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans GOP member urges Graham to subpoena Schiff, Biden phone records Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (R-S.C.), David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law McConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' MORE (R-Ky.).

Friedman asserted that Trump spoke for most of the call. He noted that he's unafraid to criticize Trump when he disagrees with the president, and credit Trump when he agrees.

"For me it is always about what is best for America – the country that I love and that you are now tearing apart," Friedman concluded

Friedman, a regular critic of the president, wrote in his recent piece that he was alarmed by last month's Democratic debates and worried that the party's eventual nominee would lean too far to the left.

"So, I wasn’t surprised to hear so many people expressing fear that the racist, divisive, climate-change-denying, woman-abusing jerk who is our president was going to get re-elected, and was even seeing his poll numbers rise," he wrote.

Friedman wrote that Democrats should nominate a "decent, sane person, one committed to reunifying the country and creating more good jobs."

The president regularly lashes out at The New York Times and has described the news outlet as the "enemy of the people."

Updated at 12:06 p.m.