NYT (AP) — The New York Post has said President Donald Trump’s decision to fire the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, a move that triggered protests and lawsuits nationwide, is a “mistake” and “dangerous” and that he has a “long history of undermining public trust.”
In a column published on Sunday, the newspaper’s editorial board said Trump has a long record of undermining confidence in the federal government, from his campaign promise to dismantle “Obamacare,” to his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
The New Yorker piece comes as Trump, a frequent critic of the media, continues to battle lawsuits brought by the media over the weekend by a number of outlets that say he violated their First Amendment rights by firing the acting agency director.
“If Trump’s actions were motivated by fear or a desire to stoke anger, then he has made a mistake,” the editorial board wrote.
“If he is genuinely fearful of media coverage of him, then this is a mistake.”
The Post said the firing was prompted by a disagreement over the agency’s handling of Hurricane Harvey and the bureau’s “aggressive and unprecedented” response to the disaster.
The newspaper’s piece also noted that Trump has been criticized by some conservatives for his lack of response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
The article also noted the bureau had recently issued a report concluding that the agency should have issued permits to developers to build on public land, but the president had vetoed the move.
The Post said Trump “has no interest in protecting the public interest in permitting development on public lands.”
In its piece, the Post also criticized Trump for failing to denounce his controversial travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The ban has been challenged by states, the courts and the public.
In a statement, a spokesman for the president said Trump is proud of his administration’s achievements and that the “full breadth of the First Amendment will continue to be protected.”
The spokesman added that the president will continue the administration’s commitment to the rule of law, respect for the rule in law and the Constitution, and protecting the right of Americans to criticize him and his administration, which is the hallmark of his presidency.___AP Writer Emily Swanson in New York contributed to this report.