In the six months since Trump took office, stranger-than-fiction moments have rewritten the Washington norm. Just when it seemed like nothing could top the ongoing Russia investigation, wiretap accusations against a former president or the firing of an FBI director, the New Yorker published a shocking and detailed account of Anthony Scaramucci’s angry late-night phone call to reporter Ryan Lizza. The tirade about Reince Priebus, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and White House staff was complete with language too vulgar for this publication to print.
This isn’t typical of a presidential administration. But nothing during Trump’s six-month presidency has been. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman seems to agree. She crossed paths with Trump while working for the New York Post and later for the New York Daily News back when he was just a businessman-turned-reality star. She covered him extensively when he was considering a presidential run in 2011. In 2015, she declined to break the news that he was planning to run, waiting instead until the announcement was official. Later that year, Trump singled her out on Twitter, calling her a “third rate reporter.” Still, hers has remained an interview he covets — he’s done at least a dozen with her. And he recently invited her and her colleagues to the White House. As New Yorker editor David Remnick put it, Trump “is somehow obsessed with her” attention.
It’s safe to say that Haberman understands the inner workings of his dealings better than many covering this administration. A recent podcast she did with Remnick was particularly revelatory. Here’s what we learned: