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White House officials attack Washington Post over 'media bias'

The White House is ramping up its attacks on The Washington Post for what it calls unfair coverage of 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

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos MORE and Hogan Gidley, the White House press secretary and deputy press secretary, respectively, on Thursday penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner criticizing the Post for a Sept. 1 article that described “what some Trump advisers and allies characterize as a lost summer defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.”  

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Grisham and Gidley wrote that the Post refused to cite the majority of Trump’s accomplishments from a list of 26 that was provided by the White House, and that writers Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker “pushed their own personal political narrative that President Trump had a ‘lost summer’ of squandered opportunities and few accomplishments.”

The White House officials argued that the opposite is true.

The Post article notes that White House officials offered up a list of over two-dozen accomplishments from summer 2019, but goes on to report that many of Trump’s advisers and allies privately described it as a “period of missed opportunity and self-sabotage.”

Grisham and Gidley pointed to the president’s historic trip to the DMZ between North Korea and South Korea, his agreement in principle with Japan on trade, and the administration’s move to terminate the Flores agreement that set the rules for the detention of migrant children as examples of accomplishments that were not explicitly referenced by the Post. 

The Post story does mention Trump's June meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnRussian diplomats leave North Korea by handcar due to coronavirus restrictions Unholy war: The few evangelicals who stood up to Trump Trump offered North Korea's Kim a ride home on Air Force One: report MORE as an accomplishment cited by the White House.  

“The truth is, Trump racked up many well-documented victories that directly benefited the American people at home and abroad,” Grisham and Gidley asserted. 

“Media bias comes in two forms. It plays a role in deciding what news is, and is not, covered, and also in deciding how that news is covered. In this instance, the Post's ‘reporters’ are guilty of both,” they wrote.

In a statement to The Hill, The Washington Post defended its reporting.

"Our story prominently noted the White House’s list of accomplishments and quoted a White House spokesman at length. It also reported the views of Republicans, both on the record and on background, some of whom are part of the administration and some who watch its performance from a distance," said Shani George, the Post's director of communications.

"Readers can judge for themselves whether our account fairly represented a variety of perspectives on the President’s summer," she added.

Trump often attacks the Post for what he views as unfair coverage, frequently calling it the “Amazon Washington Post” in reference to the paper’s owner, Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Privacy, immigrant rights groups slam 'smart wall' proposal | New DHS policies aim to fight cyber 'epidemic' | Twitter exploring allowing users to charge for content Bezos-backed rocket launch delayed til next year Hillicon Valley: Krebs is back on Capitol Hill | Cybersecurity as 'preeminent threat' | News on data privacy and voter security MORE, who is the founder and CEO of Amazon.

The White House opinion piece also attacked the Post over its own “embarrassing moments,” pointing for instance to a freelance article that had to be corrected for 15 errors.

The White House op-ed — titled “The Washington Post’s lost summer,” to mimic the publication’s original article describing Trump’s summer — was published Thursday and promoted by the White House Friday morning.

Grisham and Gidley also called out The New York Times and cable news networks in the op-ed for what the administration officials described as biased news coverage. Trump regularly refers to reports by the Times, CNN and other outlets as "fake news."

The White House earlier this week mocked the Post’s “lost summer” article on Twitter, sharing a video that branded the piece “fake news.”

--Updated at 12:27 p.m.