President Donald Trump on Thursday evening joined the Twitter takedown of a reporter who inaccurately claimed he spent Thanksgiving “Tweeting, golfing and more.”
Earlier in the day, Newsweek political correspondent Jessica Kwong tweeted out an article she wrote about how Trump was supposedly passing the holiday. But a couple hours later, news broke that the president had in fact secretly flown to Afghanistan to serve turkey and mashed potatoes to U.S. troops in America’s longest-running war.
He also met with Afghanistan’s president and announced a resumption of peace talks with the Taliban.
Following backlash on Twitter, Kwong — who describes her job on Twitter as “covering Trump administration and family” — deleted the tweet. In a followup-post, she defended her inaccurate report as an “honest mistake” and pointed to a revised version, which details Trump’s day in Afghanistan.
Trump headed to Afghanistan to surprise U.S. troops on Thanksgiving https://t.co/f7Xeqz1ZGQ Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot. pic.twitter.com/g9CfPaV2kQ
— Jessica Kwong (@JessicaGKwong) November 29, 2019
Some commenters thanked Kwong for “setting the record straight.” But many others said she should not be so easily forgiven.
New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari tweeted: “In a sane world, a journalistic blunder on this scale would send Jessica Kwong soul-searching and rethinking things. It would be a source of deep shame.”
However, he predicted she would instead “fail up.”
Ahmari went on to note that Newsweek failed to actually correct Kwong’s article, instead calling the total reversal of her reporting an “update.”
Donald Trump comes for Jessica Kwong
Donald Trump Jr. put it more succinctly, tweeting: “Fake news gonna fake!”
The president’s son also shared a screen shot of Kwong’s article alongside photos of Trump in Afghanistan.
A couple hours later, Donald Trump himself weighed-in on the controversy, referencing Newsweek’s recent financial troubles.
“I thought Newsweek was out of business?” he said.
Fake news gonna fake! pic.twitter.com/ykmlenbFLi
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 28, 2019
On Friday, Trump announced on Twitter that he was back from Afghanistan and shared photos of his time with “our Courageous American Warriors.”
Just returned to the United States after spending a GREAT Thanksgiving with our Courageous American Warriors in Afghanistan! pic.twitter.com/b2vgY5BH6z
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2019
The images show him mingling with troops at Bagram Airfield and delivering a speech in an airplane hangar.
“When our enemies hear the sound of your jets … their terrorist blood runs cold because they know their demise is near,” he said.