After his personal attorney's nonprofit alleged the media colluded with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch's Justice Department, President Donald Trump accused The Washington Post and The New York Times of showing reluctance toward covering Lynch's controversial meeting with former President Bill Clinton in 2016.
On Friday, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a nonprofit run by Trump's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, released Justice Department emails that showed New York Times and Washington Post reporters corresponding with the DOJ about the Clinton-Lynch meeting.
Trump's accusation likely sprung from Post reporter Matt Zapotosky saying he hoped to put the story about Lynch and Clinton “to rest,” as well as Times reporter Mark Landler telling the DOJ he was “pressed into” writing about the meeting.
ACLJ also alleged that Zapotosky changed his story in ways that the DOJ requested and that portrayed Lynch in a “more favorable light.”
Neither The Washington Post nor The New York Times immediately responded to requests for comment.
UPDATE [8/8/17, 6:55 p.m. EST]
In a statement provided to Independent Journal Review, Scott Wilson, National Editor of The Washington Post, refuted Trump's characterization:
“Contrary to President Trump’s characterization, the email in question shows our reporter committed to the Lynch-Comey story and working to report it as comprehensively as possible. Our coverage was vigorous and aggressive from the moment we learned Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met more than a year ago in the Phoenix airport. Saying otherwise is factually wrong.”