New York Times Attorney Responds to Trump Libel Accusations

'We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern.'

As Donald Trump was getting ready to speak today at a rally in Palm Beach, Fla., The New York Times was firing off a letter to his attorney in response to the Republican candidate’s request for a retraction of, and apology for, Megan Twohey and Michael Barbaro’s bombshell story. This jarring media juxtaposition was, astonishingly, matched within the hour when Michelle Obama directly and emotionally at a function in Manchester, N.H. addressed Trump’s leaked 2004 remarks to Billy Bush.

With regards to Trump’s charge of libel, David E. McGraw writes that ‘nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.’ Here is part of how Trump framed it just minutes ago in South Florida:

“It’s not coincidence that these attacks come at the exact same moment, and all together, at the same time, as Wikileaks releases documents exposing the massive international corruption of the Clinton machine, including 2,000 more emails just this morning.” …

“Six months ago, the failing New York Times wrote a massive story attacking me and the central witness they used said the story was false. That she was quoted inaccurately.” …

“It will be part of the lawsuit we are preparing against them. Now today, the same two discredited reporters, who should have been fired for what they did, tell another totally fabricated and false story. That supposedly took place on an airplane more than 30 years ago. Another ridiculous tale. No witnesses, no nothing.”

Donald J. Trump. Vaulted to national heights by the reality TV machine of Hollywood. Further aggrandized by the reality-TV approach of the cable news networks. And now, doubling down at the end of the 2016 presidential election campaign in the style of a most explosive, season-ending reality series finale.

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