Speed Reads

when she knew it

Journalist Maggie Haberman denies saving Trump toilet story for book: 'I'm not known for sitting on scoops'

New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman is pushing back against claims her latest scoop about former President Donald Trump was saved for an upcoming book. 

Earlier this week, Axios revealed that Haberman in her forthcoming book about Trump titled Confidence Man reveals that while he was in office, White House staffers "periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper." The report quickly gained widespread attention, but it also sparked claims that Haberman sat on the piece of information for inclusion in the book rather than report it at the time. Activist and author Amy Siskind, for example, accused Haberman of "knowing Trump was *actually* destroying information" and "hiding that story before he ran for re-election" in order to "[profit] off a book deal." 

On CNN's Inside Politics, Haberman addressed these claims, saying she only learned the details while doing additional reporting for her book after Trump left office. 

"I did not know this was happening while he was president," she said. "I'm not known for sitting on scoops if I have information, number one. Number two, I found this out in the course of reporting for the book, well after Trump had left the White House."

Haberman pointed out that her book doesn't come out for eight months, and she said she was "trying to get this information out as fast as possible," adding, "I would not want someone thinking that I knew this in real time because I didn't." Other journalists defended Haberman: CNN anchor John King slammed the "not true" claims about her reporting process, saying, "This is an example here of you following your reporting instincts and making public what you do know at a time that this could be a piece of relevant information, not what some have suggested."