The New York Times is asking Fox News' morning show "Fox & Friends" to apologize for what the newspaper calls a "malicious and inaccurate segment" about the newspaper, intelligence leaks and the Islamic State that aired Saturday.
New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said Sunday that she requested an "on-air apology and tweet." The paper, she wrote, took issue with a Fox host on the segment saying that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "was able to sneak away under the cover of darkness after a New York Times story" in 2015 and a host's comment that the U.S. government "would have had al-Baghdadi based on the intelligence that we had except someone leaked information to the failing New York Times."
The segment referred to comments by a top military official noted in a Friday Fox story. In the Fox story, Gen. Tony Thomas, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, said his team was "close" to al-Baghdadi after a 2015 raid but the "lead went dead" after it "was leaked in a prominent national newspaper." The Fox story connected Thomas with the Times, saying that Thomas "appeared to be referring to a New York Times report in June 2015 that detailed how American intelligence agencies had 'extracted valuable information.'"
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The FoxNews.com story was updated online Sunday with a Times statement. "Fox & Friends" will "provide an updated story to viewers tomorrow morning based on the FoxNews.com report," the company said in a statement emailed by Fox spokeswoman Caley Cronin Sunday.
The Times wrote a story Sunday saying President Donald Trump was wrong when he tweeted Saturday morning that the "failing" New York Times "foiled" a government attempt to kill al-Baghdadi, apparently a reaction to Fox's story. The Times also pushed back against Fox's story, noting that the Pentagon issued a news release more than three weeks before the Times article that could have tipped off al-Baghdadi. The paper also said the Pentagon "raised no objections" with it before the 2015 article on the intelligence gleaned from the raid was published.