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NY Times publisher: Trump complicit in worldwide threat to journalism

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THE HILL:

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger in a new op-ed alleges that President Trump accepts or even encourages “brutal crackdowns” on journalists worldwide.

“The hard work of journalism has long carried risks, especially in countries without democratic safeguards. But what’s different today is that these brutal crackdowns are being passively accepted and perhaps even tacitly encouraged by the president of the United States,” Sulzberger wrote in a column in the paper published Tuesday.

“To give you a sense of what this retreat looks like on the ground, let me tell you a story I’ve never shared publicly before,” he added, sharing the story of Declan Walsh, an Irish national employed by the Times in Egypt.

“Two years ago, we got a call from a United States government official warning us of the imminent arrest of a New York Times reporter based in Egypt named Declan Walsh. Though the news was alarming, the call was actually fairly standard. Over the years, we’ve received countless such warnings from American diplomats, military leaders and national security officials,” he wrote

“But this particular call took a surprising and distressing turn. We learned the official was passing along this warning without the knowledge or permission of the Trump administration,” Sulzberger added. “Rather than trying to stop the Egyptian government or assist the reporter, the official believed, the Trump administration intended to sit on the information and let the arrest be carried out. The official feared being punished for even alerting us to the danger.”

Sulzberger said that the Times was forced to contact Irish diplomats instead, who quickly arrived to Walsh’s home and ushered him to a plane before an arrest could be made.

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