Speed Reads


NYT reporter says her viral profile of Trump's White House was 'endearing.' Trump disagrees on Twitter.

Yes, CNN hosted a serious discussion on Monday night over whether President Trump actually owns a bathrobe. This is real life.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer picked out the bathrobe detail from a widely read article in The New York Times about Trump's first two weeks in the White House, asserting that Trump doesn't have or wear a bathrobe so the Times is peddling "fake news." It was the least important and probably least interesting part of the article, but Anderson Cooper asked Times reporter Maggie Haberman about it anyway.

"There's plenty of presidents who have worn bathrobes," Haberman said, and the bathrobe detail was just part of a "panorama" of life in the White House. "I thought it humanized President Trump," Cooper said. "I thought it was a nice profile of the man in the White House being in this new position." Haberman said that's what she and fellow reporter Glenn Thrush were trying to do.

The problem is, Trump "doesn't always want to be humanized," she said. "I think there are certain things he is a little private about, or a little guarded about, or he sees and he thinks they're intended in a different way than they are." The detail about aides not knowing how to turn on the lights in Cabinet room, for example, "frankly, we thought was sort of endearing," she said. "I mean, these people have been there literally two weeks," and they're "conducting this massive shake-up of Washington," as promised, "while kind of building the plane on takeoff."

Trump "is much more isolated than he's used to," Haberman said. "He has never held elected office of any kind before, and the first office he's holding is the presidency." He's living in a new house, she added, "and he's surrounded by this town of people in Washington who he knows sort of sneer at him, and these elected officials who sort of mock him behind his back, and he really wants to be accepted."

Haberman was clearly trying to be empathetic, but Trump did not appear to see it that way, tweeting soon after the CNN interview aired that "the failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!"