Newsweek Fires Reporter Behind Fake News About Trump 'Golfing' on Thanksgiving
Jessica Kwong wrote president was playing golf - he was visiting troops in Afghanistan
Newsweek has fired the reporter behind a fake news story that claimed President Donald Trump was "tweeting" and "golfing" on Thanksgiving while he was actually visiting American troops in Afghanistan.
Political reporter Jessica Kwong was at the center of an immense backlash as her anti-Trump hit piece was exposed when news emerged that the president spent the holidays serving turkey dinners to US troops.
Kwong published her article Thursday morning with a headline that read: "How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more."
After the president made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, to greet American troops and meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss reopening peace talks, she was later forced to delete her original Twitter post.
The president's son Don Jr. slammed her coverage as "fake news," after Kwong claimed her fabricated story was an "honest mistake."
She wrote in a new tweet: "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."
Rather than removing the original false claims, however, her story's headline was oddly updated to read: "How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing — and surprising U.S. troops in Afghanistan."
A small note was added at the end of the story that read: "This story has been substantially updated and edited at 6:17 p.m. EST to reflect the president's surprise trip to Afghanistan. Additional reporting by James Crowley."
Kwong told The Washington Examiner she has been told to write about what Trump would be doing for Thanksgiving.
When it was apparent he had made the trip to Afghanistan Kwong says she told her editor and a new article was written - but her original was not updated.
But Don Jr. replied: "It wasn't an 'honest mistake' you tried to dunk on Trump and ended up dunking on yourself because you couldn't resist.
"Notice how there's never been a story that broke in Trump's favor & had to be corrected the other way? These aren't mistakes, they are a very consistent pattern."
It wasn’t an “honest mistake” you tried to dunk on Trump and ended up dunking on yourself because you couldn’t resist. Notice how there’s never been a story that broke in Trump’s favor & had to be corrected the other way? These aren’t mistakes, they are a very consistent pattern. https://t.co/HmyrHrOjqB— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 30, 2019
Trump himself had earlier retweeted his son's post called the story "fake news," writing: "I thought Newsweek was out of business?"
I thought Newsweek was out of business? https://t.co/3ro4eSJloo— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2019
A Newsweek spokesperson told The Washington Examiner: "Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan.
"The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated.
"We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action."
Trump made the unannounced visit Thursday, telling soldiers at Bagram Air Field: "There is nowhere that I'd rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest best and bravest warriors on the face of the Earth."
"We flew 8,331 miles to be here tonight for one simple reason, to tell you in person that this Thanksgiving is a special Thanksgiving," Trump said in his remarks.
"We're doing so well. Our country is the strongest economically it has ever been."
The president landed at Bagram Air Field, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan, in the cover of darkness early Thursday morning local time.
The first lady did not join him. He made a surprise visit to Iraq last Christmas with Melania Trump.
The White House went to great lengths to keep the visit a secret after his Christmas visit to Iraq was blown when Air Force One was spotted en route by an amateur British flight watcher.
Cell phones, hotspots and other devices emitting a signal were confiscated from reporters traveling with the president, who were not told the destination of the trip until Air Force One was in the air and on route.
The White House arranged in advance for the president's Twitter account to remain active during his travel.
A Thanksgiving message was tweeted from it on Thursday morning.