Tech: New York Times editor: There are 2 reasons the Trump administration has so many leaks
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, says the Trump administration has activated a twin engine of leaks.
President Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the news media, which less than a month after taking office he derided as the "enemy of the American people."
But that hasn't prevented the press from giving readers an inside view of what has been happening within the Trump White House, with a daily avalanche of scoops and breaking news about the administration.
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times (one of the news outlets Trump has often singled out for his fury), says that's no accident.
Speaking at the Code Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, Baquet said the Trump administration had activated a twin engine of leaks: people in the Washington establishment and people inside the White House itself.
"This administration is doing stuff that has upset the permanent Washington," he said, referring to the nonelected officials who work in various government agencies. As those people get upset about what the administration is doing, or not doing, they talk.
But it's not just that.
A house divided
"It's a White House of disarray," Baquet said. "There are two or three factions fighting for an ear of a president who probably didn't have fully formed views before he took office."
It's true that there are factions representing Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, he said: "We're watching a Washington story unlike any other. I think we're seeing a drama, a fight in the White House, and a government investigation that's unprecedented."
To cover this White House, The Times doubled the number of people covering it to six.
The company also has no qualms about covering Trump's Twitter feed as news.
"We have to cover it," Baquet said. "He's president of the US, even if it's late-night thoughts or early-morning thoughts — they are his thoughts."
He added, however, that fact-checking was part of The Times' coverage of such tweets. "We truth-squad all of them as soon as they come up," he said. "We report it and tell the public the truth of every tweet. We have to truth-test them."