President Donald Trump slammed the New York Times Wednesday night for running a story castigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for creating "uncertainty" by being in North Korea on Tuesday.
The story titled, "At a Key Moment, Trump’s Top Diplomat Is Again Thousands of Miles Away," hits Pompeo for being absent during Trump's Tuesday announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
"The absence of Mr. Pompeo and other top State Department officials left perplexed European diplomats privately complaining that they were having trouble getting answers from Washington, and created an uncertainty about what was next that spanned the Atlantic Ocean," the Times piece read.
"The Failing New York Times criticized Secretary of State Pompeo for being AWOL (missing), when in fact he was flying to North Korea. Fake News, so bad!" Trump tweeted.
The Failing New York Times criticized Secretary of State Pompeo for being AWOL (missing), when in fact he was flying to North Korea. Fake News, so bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
Times reporter Glenn Thrush pushed back against Trump's tweet, saying, "No one said this but whatever."
No one said this but whatever https://t.co/HzdgzHz4jl
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) May 10, 2018
Twitter user Dr. Richard Harambe responded to Thrush's tweet with a screenshot of the Times headline. The piece did not specifically use the term "AWOL," a military-derived term standing for "absent without leave," but referred to Pompeo's "absence," which the Times said "created uncertainty."
— Dr. Richard Harambe (@Richard_Harambe) May 10, 2018
It was later revealed that Pompeo's trip to North Korea was not only taken to "lay further groundwork for a summit meeting between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump," as the Times indicated, but also to ensure the release and return of three Americans who had been held captive by the North Korean regime.