The prospect of being president is evidently not discouraging Donald Trump from his pastime of railing against demonstrably accurate media coverage of what he says and does.
Trump fired off a series of tweets about The New York Times - likely winner of the difficult race to be the media organisation the President Elect hates most.
He claimed its circulation was falling in light of “very poor and highly inaccurate” stories about him, though the paper said its subscriptions had increased hugely since the shock of Trump’s election.
Trump has been upset at the paper this week, tweeting on Sunday it was “losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the Trump phenomena”.
This is not true, according to the paper. The NYT said it was picking up new subscribers to both its print and digital editions at four times the normal rate.
Trump later claimed the paper had written to its subscribers to apologise for its “BAD coverage of me”.
This was also not true.
Trump was referring to a letter the paper’s publisher and executive editor wrote on November 13, thanking subscribers for their support and pledging to “rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism”. It did not claim the paper’s coverage was poor.
On the same day, Trump tweeted to deny the NYT’s claim that he believes “more countries should acquire nuclear weapons”.
He tweeted: “How dishonest are they. I never said this!”
In March, he did say that.
During a newspaper interview, he sounded amenable to South Korea and Japan acquiring nuclear weapons.
He said: “Would I rather have North Korea have them, with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if that’s the case. In other words, where Japan is defending itself against North Korea, which is a real problem, you very well may have a better case right there.”
The newspaper Trump said that to was The New York Times.
On Wednesday, Trump was upset at an NYT story about his chaotic efforts to prepare himself to enter The White House ahead of his inauguration in January.
He said the “failing” paper’s story was “so totally wrong” and his transition was going “so smoothly”.
He listed the foreign leaders who had called him since the election, adding the Times was “just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me”.
He did not define what a “smooth” transition looked like or why The NYT was wrong to suggest otherwise when it highlighted the abrupt dismissal of two leading members of his team, which the paper said was “a purge” orchestrated by Trump’s son-in-law.
US media have reported increasing subscriptions since the election, amid fears Trump’s hostility to the press and his angry temperament were bad omens for American journalists.
In October, Trump threatened to sue the NYT over is coverage of two women coming forward to accuse him of touching them inappropriately. The paper’s lawyer responded: “Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.”
As this story went live, six of Trump’s last 15 tweets were about the NYT.