President-elect Donald Trump launched into a series of early Wednesday morning tweets slamming The New York Times for a front page news story portraying his transition period as being in disarray after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was dismissed from his post directing the transition team in favor of Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Trump started his tweetstorm at about 6 a.m., with a complaint about reports he was trying to get top-level security clearance for his three oldest children, calling the story "typically false:"
And within the next 15 minutes, Trump addressed the newspaper by name, complaining it was wrong about the transition and about claims in the story foreign leaders have not been able to contact him:
In the article, the Times described Trump's transition team as "improvising" while working toward his assuming power, and said the new president-elect had his first conversations with foreign leaders without working first with State Department briefing materials.
The Times issued a statement Wednesday morning defending the story.
Trump last Friday replaced Christie, and within the next few days dismissed former Rep. Mike Rogers and lobbyist Matthew Freedman. A transition official told The Times that Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka and is serving as a close adviser, was pushing out people close to Christie.
The New Jersey governor, in his days as a federal prosecutor, had sent Kushner's father, Charles, to jail. According to nj.com, the elder Kushner had pleaded guilty in federal court to 18 felonies, including making illegal campaign contributions and evading taxes.
The Times also reported American allies were trying to contact Trump, and ended up being patched through to him at Trump Tower in New York City.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel reached him last Wednesday, but it took another 24 hours for British Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain to get through, according to a Western diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity.
Last week, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. admitted his paper underestimated Trump's support among American voters during the election, and promised in a letter to subscribers, also signed by Executive Editor Dean Baquet to "rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you."
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