In a New York Times op-ed, the newspaper’s publisher writes that the Trump administration had no intention of alerting or protecting a journalist in Egypt who was in potential danger. A.G. Sulzberger recalled that in 2017, a U.S. government official called the newspaper warning of the “imminent arrest” of Times reporter Declan Walsh, who was based in Egypt at the time. The official said he was notifying them without the knowledge or permission of the administration and believed the administration intended to let the arrest be carried out. The official also said he feared punishment for notifying them. In response, the Times turned to Walsh's native country of Ireland—which had diplomats escort Walsh to an airport within an hour before Egyptian forces could arrest him. “We hate to imagine what would have happened had that brave official not risked their career to alert us to the threat,” Sulzberger wrote.
The publisher also recalled the remarks of an official at the United States Embassy in Cairo when the Times protested journalist David Kirkpatrick's deportation from the country. “What did you expect would happen to him?” Sulzberger claimed the official said. “His reporting made the government look bad.”