US & Canada

Trump wages war on 'dishonest' media 'but will now meet NY Times'

CNN hosts Lester Holt (R) and Wolf Blitzer (C) depart after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 21, 2016. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Lester Holt (right) and Wolf Blitzer (centre) from CNN were among those at the meeting in Trump Tower in Manhattan

Donald Trump is meeting New York Times executives, his spokeswoman says, hours after cancelling the face-to-face, complaining of "nasty" coverage.

The US president-elect had earlier accused the newspaper on Twitter of changing the terms of the meeting.

The apparent U-turn came a day after he berated media chiefs at Trump Tower for their "unfair" election coverage.

During the campaign, Mr Trump railed against liberal bias but has also benefited from blanket TV coverage.

The meeting is currently happening in the Churchill Room of the New York Times.

Reporters are live-tweeting the conversation, in which Trump has appeared to suggest that he may still attempt to prosecute Hillary Clinton, as he had said during his campaign.

In other developments:

  • Mr Trump's top adviser, Kellyanne Conway, told MSNBC he would not pursue an investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server as he wanted to help his defeated Democratic rival "heal"
  • Mr Trump's charitable foundation admitted it violated a ban on "self-dealing" by transferring income or assets to a "disqualified person", according to its 2015 tax filings made public this week
  • He promised that on his first day in the White House in January he would torpedo the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's foreign policy
  • The UK ruled out replacing its ambassador in Washington after Mr Trump tweeted that Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage "would do a great job"

Early on Tuesday, the US president-elect tweeted that he had called off his meeting with what he always refers to as the "failing" New York Times.

The Republican - known to be an avid media consumer - said the newspaper had switched the terms at the last moment, adding: "Not nice."

Trump's gilded cage - Analysis by BBC's Nick Bryant

Nothing lays bare Donald Trump's thin skin quite like criticism from his hometown.

Tellingly, most of his tweet-storms since election day have been aimed at Big Apple targets: the New York Times, the satirical show Saturday Night Live and the Broadway musical Hamilton.

Since his unexpected win, Manhattan has taken on the feel of a real-life Gotham, with the billionaire cast by his many detractors as an evil super-villain.

In his eponymous skyscraper he resides, tweeting maniacally, as protesters swirl angrily below fearful that he poses a mortal threat to their city and their planet.

Trump Tower also looks more and more like a gilded cage.

While he boasted during the election that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose voters, he has not stepped foot on to its sidewalks as president-elect.

Now Fifth Avenue is lined with heavily armed police to prevent people from harming him.

Read our New York Correspondent's full blog

The Manhattan billionaire said he would instead be holding "great meetings" about who to appoint to his cabinet.

His spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, later told reporters: "The meeting is taking place as planned."

Jonathan Mahler, a political correspondent for the New York Times, tweeted that it was the president-elect who had tried to change the rules of engagement.

He said Mr Trump had asked for the discussion to be private and off-the-record, but the daily had refused.

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Media captionTrump unveils his priorities for his first day in the White House

A New York Times spokeswoman said it had only learned the meeting had been cancelled when he tweeted.

The newspaper has been reporting on potential conflicts of interest Mr Trump could face between his business interests and the presidency.

On Monday evening, he invited leading figures from the American TV networks for an off-the-record briefing at Trump Tower, where they were subjected to a tirade about election reporting.

The media executives and anchors - including NBC's Lester Holt, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and ABC's George Stephanopoulos - were apparently expecting to discuss coverage of his presidency.

But instead Mr Trump reportedly labelled them "liars" and called journalists the "lowest form of humanity".

One attendee leaked the details to the New York Post, saying: "The meeting was a total disaster.

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Media captionHail Trump: White nationalists mark Trump win with Nazi salute

"The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down."

The New York Times reports that during his complaint about "dishonest" coverage Mr Trump singled out CNN president Jeffrey Zucker.

According to the Washington Post, Mr Trump also referred to NBC's Katy Tur and ABC's Martha Raddatz, without naming them.

But Ms Conway said the meeting was "very cordial".

Throughout his campaign, Mr Trump accused the media of dishonesty, sometimes targeting individual journalists at his rallies and even denying some outlets accreditation to his events.

He feuded with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who later alleged that he had offered her gifts, including hotel stays, in an attempt to influence coverage.

The presenter said she was not the only journalist who had been offered freebies by Mr Trump.

Two weeks after his shock election victory, Mr Trump has yet to hold a news conference, and US media outlets have griped that no president-elect has delayed holding a press briefing for so long since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

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