A loose network of conservative operatives is conducting an aggressive campaign to discredit media they say are hostile to President Donald Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
Sources familiar with the operation, which is the Times reported is allied with the White House, said the group has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the nation’s most prominent news organizations.
The group, which has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times after reporting that they consider unfair to Trump or harmful to his re-election, plans to disclose more information as the 2020 election heats up.
One source said the operation had unearthed potentially “fireable” information on “several hundred” people.
Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who is familiar with the campaign, said it intends to expose what they see as the hypocrisy of news outlets that have reported on the president’s inflammatory language regarding race but have themselves engaged in such conduct.
The New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a statement that the campaign was “seeking to harass and embarrass anyone affiliated with the leading news organizations that are asking tough questions and bringing uncomfortable truths to light,” but insisted that “The Times will not be intimidated or silenced.”
CNN issued a similar statement.
The White House press office said that neither Trump nor anyone in the White House was aware of the operation, and that neither the White House nor the Republican National Committee was funding it.
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