When President Donald Trump broke an off-the-record agreement after he met with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, some wondered why Dean Baquet, the executive editor in charge of the journalism Trump has openly criticized, also didn't attend the Oval Office conversation.
The reason, Baquet told BuzzFeed News, is a matter of personal, not newsroom, policy.
"As a rule I don't go off the record with high-ranking officials, particularly the president," Baquet said in an email. "As the person overseeing coverage, I don't think officials should be able to tell me things that I can't publish. And I don't want to be courted or wooed."
Sulzberger was joined at the White House by James Bennet, the paper's editorial page editor. "The publisher and the editorial page editor have very different roles," Baquet said. "They shouldn't have to adhere to my rule, which is very personal."