President-elect Donald Trump has cancelled a meeting he set up with The New York Times.
Trump had scheduled the off-the-record meeting for Tuesday, which was meant to be a sit-down with a small group of reporters and editors. After that, he was scheduled to do an on-the-record session with columnists and reporters from the paper.
But on Tuesday morning he took to Twitter to announce the meeting was off, citing ‘changed terms and conditions.’
I cancelled today's meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
The failing @nytimes just announced that complaints about them are at a 15 year high. I can fully understand that - but why announce?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
A front-page story in The Times on Tuesday questioned whether Trump's business deals will test a provision of the Constitution that blocks office-holders from accepting certain gifts and profits from foreign governments.
The Times and other news organizations have also reported extensively on the unprecedented conflicts of interest posed by Trump's hundreds of business holdings around the world.
There was a third tweet. Trump said the New York Times had "announced" that "complaints about them are at a 15 year high."
That references a November 19 article from the newspaper's public editor, Liz Spayd, who said that the number of complaints coming into the public editor's office is "five times the normal level" -- the largest since September 11, 2001. She said "there is a searing level of dissatisfaction out there with many aspects of the coverage."
Trump responded that he "can fully understand that," but he wondered why the paper would announce that complaints were up. The reason, simply, is that the role of the public editor is to critique the newspaper's coverage and serve as liaison between readers and the editors.
The cancelled meeting comes after a reportedly contentious meeting with the five major news networks on Monday.
Update: A statement from a spokesperson for the Times: "We were unaware that the meeting was cancelled until we saw the President Elect's tweet this morning. We did not change the ground rules at all and made no attempt to. They tried to yesterday - asking for only a private meeting and no on-the-record segment, which we refused to agree to. In the end, we concluded with them that we would go back to the original plan of a small off the record session and a larger on the record session with reporters and columnists."