Trump again lashes out at NY Times, claims it's going on a 'racism witch hunt'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE early Sunday lashed out at The New York Times over what he views as unfair coverage, this time claiming that it is engaging in a "racism witch hunt." 

"The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt," Trump tweeted, apparently referencing a leaked transcript of a meeting the newspaper's executive editor, Dean Baquet, held with staff last week. 

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"'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke," he continued before claiming that the "the public is aware!"

"With all that this Administration has accomplished, think what my Poll Numbers would be if we had an honest Media, which we do not," he added in a subsequent tweet. 

Baquet met with staffers in the Times's newsroom to discuss a range of issue related to the newspaper's coverage, including how it reports on Trump and racism. 

The meeting came on the heels of a controversy involving a print headline — "Trump urges unity vs. racism" — that focused on Trump's response to a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 people dead.  The alleged suspect is believed to have shared a racist manifesto that described Hispanic immigrants entering the U.S. as an "invasion," language that many argue echoes Trump's. 

The initial headline prompted outrage from a range of Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates. It was later changed to "Assailing hate but not guns."

Baquet reportedly said in the newsroom meeting that the headline was a "f---ing mess." He also noted that "this is a really hard story" and that "newsrooms haven’t confronted one like this since the 1960s," according to Slate

"It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character," he added. "We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story." 

The transcript includes Baquet engaging in an expansive discussion about the newsroom's coverage of the Trump administration and politics. 

"How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump?" he asked at one point. "How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision." 

Trump has frequently attacked the news media throughout his time in the White House, often referring to it as "fake news" and the "enemy of the people."

He accused the Times earlier this month of giving in to the demands of the "radical left Democrats" by altering the headline about his response to a mass shooting. Trump had called on the nation to condemn bigotry and white supremacy in the wake of the attack.