Washington Post journalist explains why email criticized by Eric Trump is normal protocol

Washington Post reporter David Farenthold on Friday explained why an email he sent that Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Donald Trump Jr. hits back at critics over hypocrisy claims The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions MORE criticized is normal journalistic protocol.

“This is a kind of an email I send all the time,” said Farenthold, who covers the Trump Organization, in a video the Post tweeted. “A lot of journalism is finding people who know something you want to know … [and] reaching out and making connections with people who might be able to help you.”

He added: “There’s really no other way to make that connection, other than taking that first step.” 

Farenthold emphasized the importance of keeping tabs on the Trump Organization, given President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE’s continued ties to the company.

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“We’ve never had a president like this that kept ownership of his business and brought it with him to the White House,” Farenthold said. “You can’t understand what’s happening with him unless you understand what’s happening with his businesses.”

Farenthold’s comments come hours after Eric Trump posted a screenshot of an email Farenthold sent to a Trump Organization employee and blasted the reporter for providing his contact information and offering to take information.

In Farenthold’s email, he wrote: “I’m very sorry to bother. I’m a reporter for the Washington Post, and I cover the Trump Organization as a business. As part of that, I try to make sure every Trump Org employee has my contact information. You know the company so much better than I ever could. I’d like your help to make sure I don’t miss something important.

“If you ever want to get in touch with me, I’d be glad to talk ‘on background,’ meaning I’d never use your name in any story, or tell anyone else that we spoke. All my contact information is below, including details for how to reach me on encrypted apps,” Farenthold continued.

Reporters from multiple news outlets took to Twitter to defend Farenthold, arguing his email was professional and well within normal conduct as a journalist.