New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman is again facing criticism for holding vital information related to national security until her next book comes out. This time, it was the knowledge that former President Donald Trump—more than once—told aides after losing the 2020 election that he would not leave the White House, CNN reported on Monday in an exclusive.
“I’m just not going to leave,” Trump is accused of saying in Haberman’s account.
“We’re never leaving,” he reportedly told another aide. “How can you leave when you won an election?”
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Haberman's book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, is set to be released Oct. 4.
The author, who also works as a political analyst for CNN, is said to have described Trump telling one advisor, “We did our best,” and also telling junior press aides, “I thought we had it,” before he reversed courses.
He was reportedly overheard asking Ronna McDaniel, who leads the Republican National Committee, “Why should I leave if they stole it from me?”
And with that divulgence and the many others like it, Haberman’s name was trending for much of the day on Monday, some Twitter users penning jokes at her expense and others posting meaningful critiques.
Writer and former press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign Charlotte Clymer tweeted sarcastically
: “I don’t understand why so many folks are upset at Maggie Haberman. Every kid who wants to be an intrepid journalist when they grow up dreams of one day gathering critical information in the public’s interest that can be maximally leveraged for book sales a year later.”
Pastor John Pavlovitz tweeted: "Maggie Haberman is another in a long line of people who were willing to let democracy die on the altar of a book deal."
Haberman's revelation comes amid a special grand jury investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, tasked with looking into alleged efforts to overturn Trump's election loss. Fani Willis, the first Black woman to serve as district attorney for the county, is leading the charge, and she has already asked dozens of witnesses to testify in the case, reportedly at the displeasure of Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who is up for reelection.
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Willis told Kemp's lawyer, Brian McEvoy, in an email regarding a grand jury appearance by the governor himself that McEvoy was "wrong and confused," The New York Times reported.
“You have taken my kindness as weakness,” Willis wrote. “Despite your disdain, this investigation continues and will not be derailed by anyone’s antics.”
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It’s unfortunate that Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon doesn’t seem to share Willis’ stance. She decided to grant the former president's request to appoint a “special master” to look into documents the FBI seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
Journalist and attorney Elie Mystal said in a Twitter thread on Monday that it’s best if people stop thinking of Cannon as a real judge. ”Judge Cannon has already proven that she regards briefs and legal arguments as confusing squiggles,” he said in the tweet. “She'll rule for Trump... unless she's afraid she'll take too much heat.”
Mystal went on to say that it's possible, but "not likely," that Cannon will "react to the absolute dragging she's taken this past week."
“But, again, my read on what she'll do is based on these factors... because I won't dance for y'all and pretend that she's motivated by logic or legal reasoning,” Mystal wrote. “She's already PROVEN she doesn't care about that. And I will not be complicit like some legal Maggie Haberman.”
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