Publication journalists put on notice for Trump interview leak

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reportedly attempted to contain the leaking of the full transcript of an interview Wall Street editor-in-chief Gerard Baker conducted with President Trump.

The WSJ used the interview to furnish multiple articles but never published the entire thing. According to Politico, which leaked the full transcript of the interview Tuesday, WSJ deputy editor-in-chief Matt Murray told staffers in a conference call in recent days that leaking the transcript would be a “breach of trust.” They apparently didn’t get the memo. The transcript was soon in the hands of other New York and Washington news outlets.

Murray angrily confirmed Politico’s reporting.

“Damn right, I told them that. It’s true,” Murray said on Tuesday, according to a Journal spokesperson.

Headlining things the WSJ left out are little back-and-forths between the president and Baker, who was accompanied by Murray and Washington bureau chief Paul Beckett, that took place in-between main questions. When one of the reporters referred to the reception of Trump’s Boy Scout Jamboree speech as “mixed,” the president disagreed vehemently.

“There was no mix there. That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left – and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix,” Trump said.

He added, “And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful. So, there was … there was no mix.”

The Journal has been criticized for being soft on Trump, and Politico’s reporting hasn’t done anything to help that image. The full transcript also revealed that Ivanka stopped by the Oval Office during the interview to praise Baker’s editorial on husband Jared Kushner from the day before.

“And I liked your editorial today, very nice. (Laughs.),” the transcript quotes Ivanka Trump as saying.

“Oh, good, good. Well, you see, you know, my colleagues write those, so they’ll be — they’ll be —,” Baker said, likely referring to the editorial section that is separate from the news section of the newspaper, before being cut off by the president.

“You did a good job,” Trump said.

“Yeah, you really did,” Ivanka added.

“Thank you very much. Thank you,” Baker replied.

“You did a good job,” Trump continued before referring to Kushner: “He’s a good — he’s a good boy.”

“They wrote a very nice editorial, so very good,” Ivanka Trump said.

A WSJ spokesperson has said the Journal is “proud of the on-the-record interview we conducted with President Trump, which produced multiple, newsworthy articles.”

“We published the noteworthy excerpts from the interview. We saw no reason to publish the crosstalk that inevitably accompanies any conversation,” the spokesperson said.

Politico deftly places the spokesperson’s last quote in between quotes of Baker stumbling around trying to tell Trump that he, personally, is not allowed to write editorials about Kushner, and Trump and Ivanka praising him nonetheless, seemingly sending a message.

“In keeping with our longstanding tradition of total separation between News and Opinion, opinion pieces are the sole responsibility of Paul Gigot [editor of the editorial page] and his team,” the Journal spokesperson said.

It can safely be said there is no love lost between the media outlets’ executives.

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