White House Pushes Back on Bathrobe Anecdote

President, 'New York Times' in a strange new fight
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2017 4:03 AM CST
White House Pushes Back on Bathrobe Anecdote
President Trump smiles as he speaks in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 31.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The latest fight between the media and the president is about a bathrobe. On Monday, the New York Times ran a front-page article about life in the White House that included a personal detail about President Trump: It says he sometimes watches cable news at night in his bathrobe. White House spokesman Sean Spicer lit into the article in general as "riddled with inaccuracies" and called out that detail in particular. "I don't think the president wears a bathrobe, and definitely doesn't own one," he said, per CNN. Almost immediately, old photos began appearing on Twitter of Trump in a bathrobe. As a Mashable puts it, a quick online search yields images of a "bonafide bathrobe superfan," and it notes that Trump even donated an autographed one to charity in 2016.

One of the reporters of the story, Maggie Haberman, defended the piece on CNN as an attempt to provide a more human look at Trump and the White House, reports the Week. "There's plenty of presidents who have worn bathrobes," she said, adding that the "guarded" Trump "doesn't always want to be humanized." She called the story "endearing," but the president clearly disagreed. One tweet accused the newspaper of "writing total fiction" about him and, a later one, after the CNN interview aired, complained: "The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!" Spicer said the paper owed the president an apology over the "fake news." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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