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President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at BuzzFeed on Wednesday for publishing a 35-page unverified intelligence report which contained salacious claims about his campaign conduct and personal life.
Describing BuzzFeed as a “failing pile of garbage” at his first press conference in 169 days, Trump said he was confident the outlet would “suffer the consequences” for making the decision to publish the dossier.
Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, said earlier that he found BuzzFeed to have shown “shameful and disgraceful” judgment.
“It’s frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was highly hostile to the president-elect’s campaign to drop highly salacious and flat-out false information on the internet just days before he takes the oath of office,” he said.
Spicer accused BuzzFeed of only doing so as a “pathetic attempt to get clicks.”
BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti reacted to the criticism in a note to employees, writing that the organization would not return fire against the president-elect or his administration.
“We are not going to respond to these divisive comments,” Peretti wrote, “which put us in great company by the way – The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post have all been attacked. So has Meryl Streep and the cast of Hamilton, but we’d never compare ourselves to people that talented.”
Peretti added that BuzzFeed, instead, planned to “keep doing what we do best, which is deliver impactful journalism.”