In a Friday morning tweet, President Donald Trump accused The New York Times of “fake news” for writing that he had not spoken to Chinese President Xi Jingping since November.
“The failing @nytimes does major FAKE NEWS China story saying ‘Mr.Xi has not spoken to Mr. Trump since Nov.14.’ We spoke at length yesterday!” Trump wrote Friday morning, an apparent complaint about a Times story regarding his relationship with his Chinese counterpart.
Trump had previously suggested during his transition period that he might not respect the “one China” policy that officially recognizes the Chinese government in Beijing over the one in Taiwan. Trump’s telephone conversation with the president of Taiwan rankled Beijing, as did his remark during a December interview that “I don’t know why we have to be bound by a One China policy.”
Trump, known to prefer reading printed newspapers, likely based his Twitter complaint on the edition of the Times delivered Friday morning in Washington, which read that Chinese President Xi Jinping had not spoken to Trump since Nov. 14 because he was upset with the U.S. president’s rebuke of the “one China” policy. In Washington, the story was headlined “China’s president, stung by Taiwan call, is said to shun Trump.”
A later edition of Friday’s New York Times, as well as the online version, details a Thursday night conversation between Trump and Xi in which the U.S. president agreed that he would honor the longstanding “one China” policy that officially recognizes the Chinese government in Beijing, not the one in Taiwan.
The later edition of the newspaper also carried a new headline, “After silence from Xi, Trump endorses the ‘one China’ policy.” Online, the story was headlined “Trump tells Xi Jinping U.S. will honor ‘one China’ policy.”
Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, explained that the discrepancy stemmed from a combination of print deadlines and weather. The original version of the story was published just after 9 p.m. Thursday and was updated at 11:35 p.m., shortly after the White House emailed out a readout of Trump’s call with Xi.