Newsweek fired a staff writer who wrote an article asserting that President Donald Trump spent his Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing and did not mention his visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan ― a trip that had not yet been announced when the piece published.
On Saturday, the Washington Examiner reported that the publication axed Jessica Kwong for the story. Kwong told the Examiner that she was assigned the story in advance with a deadline before Thanksgiving. On Thursday morning, she updated the editor on duty with the latest information she had and the story was published, she told the Examiner. The headline initially read: “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more.”
The editor had another reporter write a story when the president’s Afghanistan trip was later announced and did not immediately update Kwong’s piece, she told the Examiner.
A note at the bottom of Kwong’s article states that it was “substantially updated and edited at 6:17 pm EST to reflect the president’s surprise trip to Afghanistan” ― several hours after the press heard about the trip.
Shortly before the update to Kwong’s story, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. took aim at the story on Twitter, writing, “Fake news gonna fake!” Chiming in, the president later quipped, “I thought Newsweek was out of business?”
In a tweet, Kwong noted that the story, headline and a matching tweet on her account had been written before Trump’s trip was revealed, conceding it was “an honest mistake.”
In a statement to the Examiner, Newsweek said that it “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.”
“The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated,” it added. “We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”
Neither Kwong nor Newsweek immediately responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
During Trump’s trip to Bagram Air Base north of Kabul, he met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and announced that peace talks were back on with the Taliban.
“The Taliban wants to make a deal,” he said. “We’ll see if they want to make a deal. It’s got to be a real deal, but we’ll see. But they want to make a deal.”
The remarks come less than three months after negotiations crumbled with the terror group, dashing hopes of ending the 18-year war.
Ghani gave details on Trump’s visit in a series of tweets, stating that the two leaders “discussed the important progress we have jointly made in our military efforts in the battlefield, including crushing the Daesh in eastern Afghanistan.”
“Both sides underscored that if the Taliban are sincere in their commitment to reaching a peace deal, they must accept a ceasefire,” he said. “We also emphasized that for any peace to last, terrorist safe havens outside Afghanistan must be dismantled.”
This article has been updated with more details about what Kwong told the Washington Examiner.