Legal counsel for the New York Times has responded to Donald Trump’s threat of a lawsuit over its recent report that two women are accusing the GOP candidate of groping and forcibly kissing them years ago.
NYT responds to Trump re: cease and desist pic.twitter.com/3AozcWSIl6
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 13, 2016
The letter, on top of refusing Mr. Trump’s request that the Times remove the story from its website and issue an apology, takes numerous shots at the Republican standard-bearer — a shocking move from a news organization in an election that keeps generating more and more shocking moments.
NYT General Counsel David McCraw, in the blisteringly partisan letter, writes:
The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one’s reputation. Mr. Trump has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women. He has bragged about intruding on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms. He acquiesced to a radio host’s request to discuss Mr. Trump’s own daughter as a ‘piece of ass.’ Multiple women not mentioned in our article have publicly come forward to report on Mr. Trump’s unwanted advances. Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.
The letter is a remarkable document in that, like Mr. Trump’s likely hollow (and certainly untenable) threat of a lawsuit, it is clearly intended as a political document — that is, as an attack on a political candidate from an avowedly “neutral” journalistic institution.
Journalists and other Trump opponents took to Twitter Thursday afternoon to celebrate the salvo:
If you haven't already enjoyed this tart and damning letter from NYT's attorney responding to Trump's lawsuit threat, I recommend it. https://t.co/tGHwMHwQsC
— Will Saletan (@saletan) October 13, 2016
NYT begs Trump to take them to court: "[W]e welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight." https://t.co/gd0OCAV2sh
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) October 13, 2016
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) October 13, 2016
Now everybody's loving NYT lawyer @DavidMcCraw because of his Trump letter, but I already knew he was a genius, because he has ZERO TWEETS
— Matthew Schneier (@MatthewSchneier) October 13, 2016
Shorter version of NYT letter to Trump: You can’t libel a pig.
— Anthony De Rosa (@Anthony) October 13, 2016