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Scoop: Trump allies raise money to target reporters

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Trump's political allies are trying to raise at least $2 million to investigate reporters and editors of the New York Times, Washington Post and other outlets, according to a 3-page fundraising pitch reviewed by Axios. 

Why it matters: Trump’s war on the media is expanding. This group will target reporters and editors, while other GOP 2020 entities go after the social media platforms, alleging bias, officials tell us.

  • The group claims it will slip damaging information about reporters and editors to "friendly media outlets," such as Breitbart, and traditional media, if possible.
  • People involved in raising the funds include GOP consultant Arthur Schwartz and the "loose network" that the NY Times reported last week is targeting journalists. The operations are to be run by undisclosed others.
  • The prospectus for the new project says it's "targeting the people producing the news."

The irony: The New York Times exposed an extremely improvisational effort that had outed a Times editor for past anti-Semitic tweets. This new group is now using the exposure to try to formalize and fund the operation.

  • Organizers joke that their slogan should be: "Brought to you by the New York Times."

Under "Primary Targets," the pitch lists:

  • "CNN, MSNBC, all broadcast networks, NY Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and all others that routinely incorporate bias and misinformation in to their coverage. We will also track the reporters and editors of these organizations."

This isn't an entirely new concept. The liberal group Media Matters monitors journalists and publications and goes public with complaints of bias. But being this blatant and specific about trying to discredit individual reporters is new. 

Go deeper: Trump allies plot new war on social media