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Newly named Washington Post editor decides not to take job after backlash, will stay in Britain

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Newly named Washington Post editor decides not to take job after backlash, will stay in Britain
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ENT

Newly named Washington Post editor decides not to take job after backlash, will stay in Britain

2024-06-22 05:16 Last Updated At:05:20

NEW YORK (AP) — The Washington Post's new editor Robert Winnett never made it to his job, withdrawing Friday and deciding to stay in England in another upheaval at a news outlet where a reorganization plan has gone disastrously wrong.

He'd been the subject of several published reports — including one in the newsroom that he sought to lead — that questioned whether he followed an ethical compass foreign to American journalists. The Post's CEO and publisher, announced Winnett's decision in a note to staff, and said a recruitment firm would be immediately hired to search for a replacement.

The financially struggling Post had announced Winnett would take over as editor of the core newsroom functions after November's presidential election, while it was also setting up a “third newsroom” devoted to finding new ways for its journalism to make money.

Three weeks ago, then-executive editor Sally Buzbee said that she would quit rather than take a demotion to head this revenue-enhancement effort. Besides Winnett's hiring, former Wall Street Journal editor Matt Murray was brought on as her interim replacement and future leader of the “third newsroom.”

Since then, several published reports had raised questions about the journalistic ethics of Lewis and Winnett stemming from their work in England. For example, both men worked together in a series of scoops about extravagant spending by British politicians fueled by information that they paid a data information company for — a practice frowned upon by American journalists.

The New York Times wrote that both Winnett and Lewis were involved in stories that appeared to be based on fraudulently-obtained phone and business records.

It sparked a newsroom revolt at The Post. David Maraniss, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who has worked at the newspaper for four decades, said this week that he didn't know anyone there who thought the situation with the publisher and “supposed new editor” could stand.

“The body is rejecting the transfusion,” Maraniss wrote on Facebook.

Lewis, a former Wall Street Journal publisher and vice chairman of The Associated Press' board of directors, started at The Post earlier this year, hired by billionaire owner Jeff Bezos to stem a costly exodus of readers. The Post had said it had lost $77 million last year.

In a memo to key staff members earlier this week, Bezos assured them that journalistic standards and ethics at the newspaper would not change. “I know you've already heard this from Will, but I wanted to also weigh in directly,” he wrote.

“To be sure, it can't be business as usual at The Post,” Bezos wrote. “The world is evolving rapidly and we do need to change as a business.”

In his Facebook note, Maraniss said that the issue for staff members is integrity, not resistance to change. To that end, it remains to be seen whether Lewis can gain staff support in order to survive himself.

“I think the deal is Will Lewis stays, for now,” former Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan said in a message on X Friday. “Winnett's pre-ouster is the sacrifice/compromise. Was his tenure even less than a single Scaramucci?”

Lewis said Friday that the recruitment firm and process for replacing Winnett will be announced soon. Winnett's sudden hiring — without any indication of an extensive search — had also rankled staff members.

Lewis said that the reorganizations efforts would continue, albeit delayed. He said the “third newsroom” would be operational early next year.

Winnett is staying at the Telegraph in London. Telegraph editor Chris Evans told that newspaper that “he's a talented chap, and their loss is our gain,” according to the Guardian.

Associated Press correspondent Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report. David Bauder writes about media for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://twitter.com/dbauder.

FILE - Will Lewis, newly-appointed publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, poses for a portrait in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. Lewis is facing questions about whether he made efforts to conceal — in his own newspaper and elsewhere — his involvement in a British phone hacking scandal from his time working for Rupert Murdoch a decade ago. The weeklong saga, which began with the abrupt departure of the Post's executive editor Sunday, June 2, 2024 offers a window into differences between approaches to journalism in Britain and the United States.(Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP, File)

FILE - Will Lewis, newly-appointed publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, poses for a portrait in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. Lewis is facing questions about whether he made efforts to conceal — in his own newspaper and elsewhere — his involvement in a British phone hacking scandal from his time working for Rupert Murdoch a decade ago. The weeklong saga, which began with the abrupt departure of the Post's executive editor Sunday, June 2, 2024 offers a window into differences between approaches to journalism in Britain and the United States.(Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP, File)

FILE - People walk by the One Franklin Square Building, home of The Washington Post newspaper, in downtown Washington, Feb. 21, 2019. New leaders of The Washington Post are being haunted by their past, with ethical questions raised about their actions as journalists in London that illustrate very different press traditions in the United States and England. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

FILE - People walk by the One Franklin Square Building, home of The Washington Post newspaper, in downtown Washington, Feb. 21, 2019. New leaders of The Washington Post are being haunted by their past, with ethical questions raised about their actions as journalists in London that illustrate very different press traditions in the United States and England. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

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The Latest: Trump is expected to announce his VP pick as RNC begins

2024-07-16 01:06 Last Updated At:01:10

The Republican National Convention kicks off this week, with delegates and officials descending on Wisconsin amid the tumult that follows a Saturday assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump as he prepares to become the GOP’s official nominee.

The quadrennial event takes place not only as Trump leads a party in lockstep behind him, but also as Democrats roil over President Joe Biden’s viability and if they should replace him as their nominee.

Follow the AP’s Election-2024 coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024

Here's the Latest:

After being hurt in a weekend assassination attempt, former President Donald Trump is calling for another presidential candidate to get Secret Service protection.

“In light of what is going on in the world today, I believe it is imperative that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. receive Secret Service protection — immediately,” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social. “Given the history of the Kennedy Family, this is the obvious right thing to do!”

Kennedy’s father, Robert F. Kennedy, was shot and killed while campaigning for president and his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated while in office.

Donald Trump is expected to announce his vice presidential pick on the first day of the Republican National Convention, he said in an interview Monday.

It remains unclear whether the shooting Saturday at his Pennsylvania rally has changed the former president’s thinking about his potential second-in-command. But he told Fox News Channel host Bret Baier in a call that he planned to make his pick Monday.

The roll call vote to nominate Trump’s pick is expected Monday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the schedule who spoke on condition of anonymity. The person cautioned that Trump could always change his mind.

— Jill Colvin and Steve Peoples

Vivek Ramaswamy, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and political novice who ran in the GOP presidential primary, has distinguished himself as an aggressive voice on the right, saying often that the country is already at war with itself.

So it was notable that in remarks at an event run by the conservative Heritage Institute at the RNC on Monday he was toning down his rhetoric and urging the country to come together.

“The enemy is not the Democrats, it is an ideology,” Ramaswamy told the crowd at the Heritage Institute’s “Policy Fest” event.

Ramaswamy compared the assassination attempt on Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, telling reporters after his speech that “Donald Trump, in some ways, has been given the chance now, the second chance that Abraham Lincoln didn’t have to unite a country that, this time, didn’t have to fight a civil war but avoids one.”

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are getting an updated briefing from homeland security and law enforcement officials on the investigation into the attempted assassination of Donald Trump.

The briefing is taking place in the Situation Room, the White House says.

The attorney general, homeland security secretary, FBI director and the director and deputy director of the U.S. Secret Service are among those briefing Biden and Harris.

When U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon dismissed the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump, she pointed several times to a concurrence written by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The concurrence was part of the high court’s ruling that former presidents have broad immunity from criminal prosecution, a finding that all but ended the prospects Trump could be tried on election-interference charges in Washington before the election.

No other justice signed onto Thomas’s concurrence. He questioned whether special counsel Jack Smith had been legally appointed and called on lower court judges to weigh the question.

The federal judge presiding over the classified documents case of former President Donald Trump in Florida has dismissed the prosecution because of concerns over the appointment of the prosecutor who brought the case.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted the defense motion to dismiss the case Monday.

Lawyers for Trump had argued that special counsel Jack Smith was illicitly appointed and that his office was improperly funded by the Justice Department.

First lady Jill Biden has spoken to Melania Trump following an attempted assassination of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The first lady’s office confirmed they spoke Sunday afternoon but have not released any details on the conversation. President Joe Biden spoke with Donald Trump following the attack at a rally in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump is attending the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week.

Milwaukee’s mayor says he knows Americans will have questions about security at the Republican National Convention after Saturday’s assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump, but the event has the highest security level possible “so I feel pretty confident.”

“The folks on the ground here have confidence in the work that they’ve put in over the last 18 months,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said at a Monday morning briefing. “And I have faith and confidence as well in the Secret Service and the police and fire departments and other agencies providing security today.”

The director of the U.S. Secret Service says she’s confident in the plan to secure the Republican National Convention that begins Monday in the wake of an attempt on the life of presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In a statement, Kim Cheatle said Monday the security plans for the event are “designed to be flexible.”

“The Secret Service will continuously adapt our operations as necessary to ensure the highest level of safety,” she said.

Cheatle says the plan will change as necessary to ensure the continued safety of attendees at the Milwaukee event.

A man shot at Trump from a rooftop near a Pennsylvania rally on Saturday. Trump is recovering and will attend the convention. President Joe Biden ordered a national security review of the incident over the weekend.

King Charles III has written to Donald Trump after the assassination attempt at a rally in Pennsylvania, Buckingham Palace said.

The palace did not disclose the contents of the monarch’s private message, which was delivered on Sunday through the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The message follows a call to Trump on Sunday by British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, who condemned the violence, expressed condolences for the victims and their families and wished a quick recovery for the former president and those injured.

Donald Trump spent much of Sunday on the phone with friends, news hosts and local and foreign officials the day after he was injured in an assassination attempt.

Ohio Pastor Darrell Scott, a longtime ally, said Trump “was in great spirits” when they spoke Sunday morning, hours after the shooting.

“He was great, like he always is. He didn’t even make a big deal of it,” Scott said. “He was actually trying to downplay it somewhat, asking how I was doing.”

Former RNC chair Reince Priebus, who also served as Trump’s White House chief of staff, told ABC’s “This Week” that Trump was “grateful for the miracle of what happened, in his case. ... One quarter inch turned the other direction and we’re obviously talking about something very different this morning.”

Tony Perkins, among the most influential Christian conservatives in the Republican Party, was preparing to mount a confrontation with convention planners over his disdain for how debate during the RNC’s platform committee was shut down on Monday, all but eliminating objections to the Trump campaign’s desire to soften language on abortion.

The attempted assassination changed all that, Perkins told The Associated Press after a prayer service in suburban Milwaukee Sunday evening.

“We live in a violent society. And we run the risk of becoming callous to it. And if we become callous to it, we’re going to have more of it,” Perkins said. “I’m hoping and praying it’s a wake-up call in many ways.”

“So, as a result, I’m stepping back from forcing the issue on the platform,” he added. “More divisiveness would not be healthy.”

Perkins called social media “a contagion” for toxic rhetoric passed along by people who do not feel that they’re heard by their government or leaders, and attributed the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in part to the notion of overheated online rage.

“We need to stop,” he said.

And while thanking God during the service for Trump’s survival, Perkins told more than 100 in the Pewaukee church, “Lord, I believe that our nation is at such a volatile moment that yesterday could have torn this nation right in half.”

The 20-year-old man who tried to assassinate former President Donald Trump first came to law enforcement’s attention at Saturday’s rally when spectators noticed him acting strangely outside the campaign event. The tip sparked a frantic search, but officers were unable to find him before he managed to get on a roof, where he opened fire.

In the wake of the shooting that killed one spectator, investigators are hunting for any clues about what may have drove Thomas Matthew Crooks, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, to carry out the shocking attack. The FBI said they were investigating it as a potential act of domestic terrorism, but the absence of a clear ideological motive by the man shot dead by Secret Service allowed conspiracy theories to flourish.

The FBI said it believes Crooks, who had bomb-making materials in the car he drove to the rally, acted alone. Investigators have found no threatening comments on social media accounts or ideological positions that could help explain what led him to target Trump.

Crooks graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2022. His senior year, Crooks was among several students given an award for math and science, according to a Tribune-Review story at the time.

He tried out for the school’s rifle team but was turned away because he was a bad shooter, said Frederick Mach, a current captain of the team who was a few years behind Crooks at the school.

Jason Kohler, who said he attended the same high school but did not share any classes with Crooks, said Crooks was bullied at school and sat alone at lunch time. Other students mocked him for the clothes he wore, which included hunting outfits, Kohler said.

Former President Donald Trump told The Washington Examiner that he has rewritten the speech he was set to deliver at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday after being the target of an attempted assassination at his rally Saturday.

“The speech I was going to give on Thursday was going to be a humdinger,” he told the news outlet in an article posted Sunday evening.

In the interview, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee says he will now call for a new effort at national unity, noting that people from different political views have called him.

“This is a chance to bring the whole country, even the whole world, together. The speech will be a lot different, a lot different than it would’ve been two days ago,” he said.

Trump also reflected on the moment a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. He said he was saved from death because he turned from the crowd to look at a screen showing off a chart he was referring to.

“That reality is just setting in,” he told the news outlet as he boarded his plane in Bedminster, New Jersey, for Milwaukee. “I rarely look away from the crowd. Had I not done that in that moment, well, we would not be talking today, would we?”

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump waves from the stage as he is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump waves from the stage as he is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A person watches news in a local bar near the Fiserv Forum watching news ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A person watches news in a local bar near the Fiserv Forum watching news ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Missouri State Trooper Cpl. Piccinino, right, is reflected in a mylar wall as he stands his post at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Missouri State Trooper Cpl. Piccinino, right, is reflected in a mylar wall as he stands his post at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

An exterior general view at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

An exterior general view at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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