In 2017, Egypt Planned To Arrest A NYT Journalist. Trump Wanted To Let It Happen

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When New York Times reporter Declan Walsh was under threat in Egypt, the Trump administration was silent.

Cries of “fake news” have become ubiquitous in the Trump era, as the president routinely denounces reporting he does not appreciate or casts him in an unflattering light.

But a Tuesday Washington Post report reveals that Donald Trump’s disdain for the press moved well beyond his favored sound bite and into the real world in late 2017, when his administration reportedly knew the Egyptian government planned to arrest a New York Times journalist and wanted to let it happen.

According to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, Egypt was after the newspaper’s Cairo reporter, Declan Walsh. In a Monday op-ed, Sulzberger wrote that the newspaper was tipped off by a U.S. official who said the Trump administration had tried to keep the warning from reaching the Times.

Officials “intended to sit on the information and let the arrest be carried out,” Sulzberger wrote. He added that the incident “adds a chilling new episode to the administration’s trend of attacking the press and diminishing the rights of journalists as they come under threat around the globe,” The Post reported.

Pointing to “recent threats made in an address by the Cambodian prime minister, a social media blackout in Chad, and attempts to arrest foreign journalists in Egypt,” Sulzberger said, “These brutal crackdowns are being passively accepted and perhaps even tacitly encouraged by the president of the United States.”

The Post recalled that Trump once jokingly referred to the autocratic president of Egypt as his “favorite dictator.”

And when that dictator went after Walsh, who had reported in a manner unflattering to the Egyptian government, the Trump administration was prepared to do nothing.

The Times turned to Walsh’s home country of Ireland to assist in retrieving their reporter. “Almost immediately, officials from the Irish Embassy in Cairo escorted the journalist from his home to the airport,” The Post reported.

During a talk at Brown University on Monday, Sulzberger said, “I’m sounding the alarm because his words are dangerous and having real-world consequences around the globe.”

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