By Graham Johnson
Editor, Byline Investigates
PRESIDENT Donald Trump has attacked a story by The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton-Dunn as ‘fake news’ – days after Byline named the top journalist among 50 linked at the High Court to allegedly unlawful news-gathering.
The US premier lashed out at the treatment of an interview he gave to Rupert Murdoch’s leading tabloid, which said he denigrated British Prime Minister Theresa May’s handling of Brexit negotiations.
However, speaking this afternoon alongside Mrs May at Chequers, the 45th President of the United States insisted: “I didn’t criticise the Prime Minister, I have a lot of respect for the Prime Minister.
“Unfortunately there was a story that was done which was generally fine but it didn’t put in what I said about the Prime Minister and I said tremendous things.
“Fortunately we tend to record stories now so we have it for your enjoyment if you’d like it. But we record when we deal with reporters. It’s called fake news.
“We solve a lot of problems with the good old recording instrument.”
Mr Trump also stepped back from his warning, in The Sun, that Mrs May’s Brexit plan would “kill” any trade deal – as long as there were no “restrictions”.
The Sun is standing by its story and has posted edited recordings of its interview with Mr Trump on its website.
The President’s assault on the integrity of such a senior British journalist is unprecedented and marks a Friday 13th to forget for Newton-Dunn.
Legal documents deployed in court suggest he used private investigator Steve Whittamore while in his previous employment as a reporter for tabloid rival, The Mirror.
Whittamore, who was convicted in 2005 of data theft, had provided services to newspapers across Fleet Street prior to his arrest.
Byline has approached Newton-Dunn for comment on his use of Whittamore, but has yet to hear back.
Byline also revealed in April last year that Newton-Dunn discussed the illegal practice of phone hacking in emails with The Sun’s former editor Dominic Mohan, however there was no suggestion the journalist himself had been involved in the illegal activity.