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NYT Reporter Peddles Anti-Trump Conspiracy Theory Over ADP Jobs Report

Maggie Haberman talks about Trump on CNN

Maggie Haberman of the New York Times left out some key context when she accused President Trump of spinning a jobs report.

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Shortly after ADP released its August jobs report on Thursday morning, President Trump tweeted, “Really Good Jobs Numbers!” Maggie Haberman, a high-profile White House correspondent for the New York Times, speculated to her 1.1 million Twitter followers that Trump’s tweet suggested he got an early look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, which are set to be released Friday, and sought to “spin them ahead of time.”

“Did potus get an advance look at numbers out….tomorrow? And try to spin them ahead of time, which is deeply questionable as an action by a president?” tweeted Haberman, who also works as a CNN analyst.

When John Roberts of Fox News responded to note that Trump was likely reacting to the ADP numbers, Haberman conceded that was “perhaps” the case, but still insisted the president’s tweet was unclear. She replied in similar fashion to a tweet from a Politico reporter. Nevertheless, Haberman also retweeted Times senior economic correspondent Neil Irwin, who pointed out Trump’s tweet was “very likely” not about the BLS numbers, reminding readers the White House wouldn’t even receive the data until late Thursday afternoon.

https://twitter.com/Neil_Irwin/status/1169613224368582657?s=20

Despite that apparent concession, Haberman left her initial tweet up, which by her own colleague’s logic raises an accusation very unlikely to be true. There’s some irony in Haberman’s complaint that Trump lacked clarity, given that her own tweet completely left out the critical context that ADP had released job numbers shortly before his post.

The press should absolutely raise difficult questions about our leaders, and Trump’s tweets lack the formality of press releases, to put it mildly. But in this case, the timing made it abundantly clear he was reacting to the ADP numbers. To carry on as though a presidential tweet about good jobs numbers issued right after the release of a good jobs numbers report was plausibly about anything else is misleading, especially for someone with one of the biggest platforms in media.