President Donald Trump on Sunday sounded off on the resignation of the editorial page editorÂ of The New York Times following the publication of an incendiary op ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) calling for a military assault against anti-racist protesters.
Trump hailed Cottonâ€™s op-ed, which characterized protests over George Floydâ€™s death during a brutal arrest as an â€œorgy of violenceâ€ by â€œinsurrectionists.â€ The president deemed the tirade as â€œexcellentâ€ in a tweet, and slammed the Times, yet again, as â€œFake News!!!â€ Trump added, inexplicably: â€œTRANSPARENCY!â€ and noted: â€œThe State of Arkansas is very proud of Tom.â€
Editor James Bennett admitted Friday that he had not read Cottonâ€™s piece before it was published last Wednesday.Â
The op-ed unleashed a storm of controversy among readers and the Timesâ€™ own staff, who charged that Cottonâ€™s inflammatory language fueled hatred and violence, and put Black Americans, including the newspaperâ€™s own reporters, in danger.
Cottonâ€™s op-ed is still available online, but now includes a lengthy editorâ€™s note that the essayÂ â€œfell short of our standards and should not have been published.â€ Cottonâ€™s claims that protests were fueled byÂ â€œcadres of left-wing radicalsâ€ and that police â€œbore the bruntâ€ of any violence had not been substantiated, the Times noted.
Despite Trumpâ€™s clear support for Cottonâ€™s position, Attorney General William Barr insisted on â€œFace The Nationâ€ on CBS Sunday that Trump wasnâ€™t clamoring for military troops to move on protesters, particularly during the violent crackdown last week on peaceful protesters as the president walked to a church for a photo-op.Â
The Washington Post reported Saturday, however, that Trump pressed for 10,000 troops to be sent into the capital. According to the Times, the National Guard was ordered by the Pentagon to crack down on protesters,ï»¿Â or would send in active-duty units instead.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter