In the mid-2000s, when he was an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and the Iraq War, Donald Trump wrote that the families of U.S. service members who died in Iraq should sue the New York Times for faulty reporting on weapons of mass destruction.
"I think anyone who has lost a son, a daughter, or a loved one in the war in Iraq should sue The New York Times for Judith Miller's false reporting about the so-called 'weapons of mass destruction' as a premise for that war," wrote Trump on his Trump University blog in 2005. "It's one thing to get a bad review, it's another to lose more than 2,000 lives because of false or inaccurate reporting. Imagine having the Judith Millers of the world working for you and getting away with things that are inconceivable to a journalist. We have to draw the line somewhere, and that's where I draw the line."
In the lead up the Iraq War, Miller wrote several front page Times stories on Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons program. Much of the reporting in those stories turned out to be inaccurate, and many critics accused Miller of aiding the Bush administration's case for war.
"All the news that's fit to print seems to have evolved into 'whatever we decide to print is the news, whether it is correct or not,'" wrote Trump."This past weekend I was playing golf with a friend who was irate with The New York Times. His investment portfolio has never been lower. His stock in the company is at the lowest it has been in ten years, and he can only blame the behavior at the so-called 'paper of record' for this plunge."
Donald Trump has said throughout his campaign he was on the record as being vocally against the Iraq War before the invasion in 2003, a claim BuzzFeed News could find no evidence of. Trump did loudly criticize the war as a disaster within a year of the invasion.
"In addition, the current mess with Judith Miller has made me wonder what is going on there," continued Trump on his blog. "What kind of reporting is The New York Times doing? Who are they really working for? Can we afford to believe anything they print? Do they have a conscience? Do they know that power includes responsibility? Do they even know what they are doing?I think The New York Times has some big-time cleaning up to do, but I wonder if it's too late."
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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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