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

President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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.

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"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 GrahamOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents John Boehner tells Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in unscripted audiobook asides: report MORE (R-S.C.), David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout 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.