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NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth'

New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE "often tells the truth," and cautioned against reading too far into the president's motives.

Speaking to Brian Stelter on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Haberman said it is often a waste of time for people to "constantly [be] surprised" or look "for some deeper motive behind everything" Trump says or does.

"Trump lies frequently, or tells falsehoods frequently, or stretches the truth frequently, but he also often tells the truth," Haberman said.

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As an example, Haberman listed Trump's recent interview with The Sun, a British tabloid, where he slammed Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiating tactics. Though Trump made waves by criticizing the close U.S. ally, Haberman said he did the interview as a favor to Rupert Murdoch, the New York media mogul who owns the publication.

"He gave this interview to The Sun, a British tabloid ... during his U.K. swing last week," Haberman said. "It was a favor to Rupert Murdoch. That's what he told people. That's why he did it. It was not because he had some pre-planned strategy about shaking things up, or disrupting the global order." 

"He was surprised at how his remarks were received," Haberman added. "He didn't realize he would be making the news that it did."

Haberman herself made headlines this week for her decision to step away from Twitter, citing the "viciousness, toxic partisan anger, intellectual dishonesty, motive-questioning and sexism." 

"Twitter is now an anger video game for many users," Haberman wrote in a Times op-ed on Friday. "It is the only platform on which people feel free to say things they’d never say to someone’s face. For me, it had become an enormous and pointless drain on my time and mental energy."

Trump has publicly attacked Haberman multiple times. Last year, he tweeted that she is a "third rate reporter" and denied speaking to her.

Haberman is known as one of the reporters who Trump talks to the most, and has even been referred to as the "Trump-whisperer" because of the scoops she is able to pull out from the White House.