What the media get wrong about Donald Trump

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman is known for her deeply sourced stories about what’s really happening at the Trump White House. She says the gap between what people close to Trump know and what everyone else believes has been a defining trait throughout his public life — and also a potential pitfall for reporters.

“The five-borough view in New York City, of Trump, is so unbelievably different than the national view of Trump,” Haberman said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher,recorded live in Austin, Texas at the 2017 Texas Tribune Festival. “The national view was formed over 14 years of ‘The Apprentice.’ I was amazed and people would go to Iowa and people would describe him like Thomas Edison: ‘He’s this innovator, he formed this huge business, he’s decisive’ and it’s, like, he fired Gary Busey. That’s who we’re talking about.”

“It’s always a mirage,” she added. “There was a side that was like, ‘Everybody knows this!’ Well, actually, everybody doesn’t know this. That, I would say, is one of my biggest failings during the campaign.”

And “everybody” doesn’t just mean “Apprentice”-watching voters. Haberman said her colleagues at the New York Times who had not covered the campaign but are now covering the White House were at a “severe disadvantage” when Trump took office.

“For the first six months, you were learning how strange this all is,” she said. “My then-colleague Ashley Parker, we did a briefing for the D.C. bureau just after the election, to tell them what to prepare for and people thought I was kidding. ‘He will point to this table and say it’s a sofa,’ just sort of along those lines.”

Read more at Recode.