A one-on-one meeting last week between President Donald Trump and TMZ founder Harvey Levin made several staffers at the celebrity gossip site “uncountable,” The Wrap reports.
“All I can tell you is everyone thinks it’s really gross,” one source reportedly said, referring to an hour-long Oval Office confab between Trump and Levin.
“Many people in the newsroom are uncomfortable with Harvey’s overall Trump coverage,” the source reportedly added.
The New York Times reported last week that Levin and Trump were meeting to discuss a possible sit-down interview similar to the one the pair did last fall for Levin’s Fox News special Objectified: Donald Trump.
“The show was a huge success, and the two were discussing future opportunities,” Hope Hicks, White House director of strategic communications, told the Times.
The Wrap cited several examples of TMZ’s news reporting throughout the presidential campaign that staffers at the Los Angeles-based news giant said amounted to a “pro-Trump tone.”
“It’s troubling,” said Angelo Carusone, president of left-wing blog Media Matters. “TMZ has been running interference for Donald Trump from Day 1.”
Trump and Levin’s White House chat also caught the attention of late night host Jimmy Kimmel, who mocked the meeting.
“What could those two have to talk about for an hour?” the ABC host joked. “Is there a terrorist plot against Taylor Swift we need to know about? Is ISIS after Louis from 1D?”
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.