Allies of President Trump have reportedly constructed an operation to discredit journalists viewed as being unfavorable towards the president, the New York Times reports. The operation run by conservative operatives has reportedly scoured more than a decade of social media history from reporters who are seen as hostile towards Trump, in order to find potentially damaging posts that can be used against them in the court of public opinion. According to four people familiar with the operation who spoke to the Times, the operation has compiled dossiers of information on journalists from some of the country’s most prominent news organizations with the intent of publicizing damaging social media posts or statements.
Arthur Schwartz, an informal adviser to the president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., is believed to be one of the operation’s leaders. The White House told the Times that neither the president nor anyone in the White House is involved in or aware of the operation. “We know nothing about this, but it’s clear that the media has a lot of work to do to clean up its own house,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director of President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.