- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2019

The Newsweek reporter who caught the attention of President Trump last week over a bungled story about his Thanksgiving plans has been fired, the publication said Saturday.

Newsweek’s Jessica Kwong reported Thursday that Mr. Trump’s Thanksgiving plans included golfing and tweeting, leaving out his first-ever trip to Afghanistan. “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more,” the initial headline read.

But according to an editor’s note, the article was “substantially updated and edited” eight hours after its initial publication to reflect that Mr. Trump had made a surprise visit to the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The new headline for the story reads, “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing — and surprising U.S. troops in Afghanistan.”

Mr. Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted a screenshot of the original article juxtaposed with the president handing out food to U.S. soldiers and the caption, “Fake News vs. Reality.”

The president later retweeted his son’s post, adding, “I thought Newsweek was out of business?”

Ms. Kwong said later Thursday that she deleted her tweet that promoted the original story, calling it an “honest mistake.”

“Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake,” she wrote. “Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot.”

Two days later, Newsweek said Ms. Kwong had been fired for the mistake.

“Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan,” a representative for the outlet told the Washington Examiner. “The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated. We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”

In an interview with the Examiner, Ms. Kwong placed part of the blame on an editor, whom she said failed to update the article when she requested it.

“When the president’s trip to Afghanistan was announced, that editor then decided to assign another reporter to write a new story about it but neglected to update Kwong’s original piece in a timely manner,” the Examiner reported, according to Ms. Kwong.

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