There's a media storm brewing between President Trump's favorite news outlet and one of his most hated, but it concerns a story that unfolded long before he took office. On Sunday, New York Times VP of Communications Danielle Rhoades Ha demanded an on-air apology from Fox and Friends and asked the Fox News morning show to retract its claim that a 2015 Times story enabled Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to elude capture by the US government, ABC News reports. Fox and Friends' segment on Saturday referred to a story on FoxNews.com the day before, in which US Special Operations Commander Tony Thomas claimed his team was close to al-Baghdadi but that their lead on him disappeared after it "was leaked in a prominent national newspaper" in 2015.
The controversy took on extra weight when Trump, a devoted Fox and Friends viewer, tweeted on Saturday, "The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist,Al-Baghdadi. Their sick agenda over National Security." Politico reports that a Fox News executive contacted the site to condemn the Times for its request, and for the fact that it did not make said request until Sunday—when the original FoxNews.com story was published two days prior—and alerted other media outlets to the request at the same time. "If we notified the press every time the New York Times had to update an online story or correct something, your inbox would crash," the executive said. Rhoades Ha says the newspaper has yet to hear back from Fox about its request. She also says the Times has sought a clarification from the White House regarding Trump's tweet.