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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump abruptly canceled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with The New York Times newspaper that he has frequently criticized, complaining in morning Twitter posts about inaccurate coverage and a “nasty tone.”

The move came a day after the Republican real estate magnate met with television anchors and news industry executives and reporters in New York in a session The Washington Post described as a contentious but generally respectful.

Trump singled out reporting of his campaign by CNN and NBC that he considered to be unfair, the Post said, citing four participants at the meeting. The moves illustrated Trump’s complicated relationship with the news media.

As a presidential candidate, Trump was quick to bristle at unflattering news coverage, even as he remained accessible to certain reporters, including several from the Times. At one point, he banned The Post, Buzzfeed and Politico from receiving credentials to attend his events after their coverage was critical of him.

“I canceled today’s meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

“Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!” Trump wrote in a second post.

A spokeswoman for the Times said the newspaper was not aware the meeting was canceled until Trump’s tweet, which came at about 6:30 a.m. EST (1130 GMT). Trump’s team tried to change the conditions of the meeting on Monday, asking that it be off the record, but the newspaper refused, said spokeswoman Eileen Murphy.

“In the end, we concluded with them that we would go back to the original plan of a small off the record session and a larger on the record session with reporters and columnists,” she said in a statement.

Trump has not held a traditional news conference to talk about his priorities since his election on Nov. 8.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

IMAGE: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gestures from the front door at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar