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 John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser marred by protests 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 UnMaher: Republicans 'right' to say Democrats 'never got over Trump's behavior' Overnight Defense: Trump hits Iranian central bank with sanctions | Trump meeting with Ukrainian leader at UN | Trump touts relationship with North Korea's Kim as 'best thing' for US Trump laments Otto Warmbier wasn't freed faster from North Korea 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 BezosPortraits of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeff Bezos headed for National Portrait Gallery Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg courts critics on Capitol Hill | Amazon makes climate pledge | Senate panel approves 0M for state election security News outlets choose their darlings, ignore others' voices 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.