Bob Woodward, former scribe for The Washington Post who helped uncover the Watergate scandal that prompted former President Richard Nixon's resignation, has advised journalists covering the Trump administration to focus on objective reporting and restrain themselves from "binge drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid."
On May 19, Woodward praised the dramatic stories about the Trump administration emerging from The New York Times and The Washington Post, but urged modern journalists to focus on their craft and preserve their objectivity.
"Stick to the reporting," Woodward told MSNBC. "One of the realities we have here is we have a good, old newspaper war going, The New York Times and The Washington Post and some very powerful stories. At the same time, I think it's time to dial back a little bit because there are people around... who are kind of binge drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid."
The veteran reporter asserted that speculating on President Donald Trump's alleged impropriety ran the risk of compromising journalistic integrity.
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"That is not going to work in journalism," Woodward said. "Let the politicians have that binge drinking."
Later that day, a fresh controversy for the Trump administration arose following the publishing of story by The New York Times
The Trump administration has been under constant criticism following the president's dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey. Since that controversial decision, a stream of insider sources have provided both The New York Times and The Washington Post with revelations such as Trump allegedly asking Comey to drop a federal investigation of former National Security Advisor retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for his alleged disclosure of intelligence to Russian officials.
On May 10, Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. On May 19, The New York Times obtained an internal document summarizing the meeting, revealing that Trump had allegedly told both Russian officials he had fired Comey partly due to the FBI investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian government to subvert the 2016 presidential race.
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"I just fired the head of the FBI," Trump allegedly told Lavrov and Kislyak, according to the document. "He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the contents of the summary.
Trump has repeatedly blasted the media coverage of his administration. On May 17, the president asserted during a Coast Guard Academy commencement address that he was the most unfairly treated politician in history.
"Look at the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media," Trump told the graduates, according to CNBC. "No politician in history... has been treated worse or more unfairly."
On April 30, Woodward disagreed with Trump's critique of the media during remarks at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington D.C.
"The effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith," Woodward said, according to The Hill.
The veteran journalist added "Mr. President, the media is not fake news."