Trump: New York Times 'Must Be Held Accountable' for 'Virtual Treason' on Russia Story

Trump demanded the New York Times 'immediately release their sources' 'if they exist at all' on a recent story about U.S. cyber attacks on Russian infrastructure

President Donald Trump speaks in the Ross Garden of the White House, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Washington
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

U.S. President Donald Trump doubled down on a recent attack on the New York Times over a story on U.S. cyber attacks on Russian infrastructure. 

Trump tweeted early Tuesday, "The story in the @nytimes about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is Fake News, and the Failing New York Times knows it. They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony. Times must be held fully accountable!"

Russian news agencies cited an unnamed security source as saying on Monday that Russia thwarted attempts by the United States to carry out cyber attacks on the control systems of Russian infrastructure.

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The disclosure was made on Russia's RIA and TASS news agencies days after the New York Times cited unnamed government sources as saying that the United States had inserted potentially disruptive computer code into Russia's power grid as part of a more aggressive deployment of its cyber tools.

Trump on Sunday accused the New York Times of a "virtual act of treason" after the newspaper published a report on U.S. cyber attacks on Russia's electric power grid - a report Trump also denied.

"Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia," Trump tweeted. "This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country."

Trump, in a second tweet, claimed that the story was "not true!"

"Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today," he added. "They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"

Trump has repeatedly attacked the New York Times since becoming a presidential candidate in 2015 and even went as far in April of 2019 to say “they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!”

Reuters contributed to this report