New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who rose to media stardom during Donald Trump's presidency, accused the former president of communicating an "implicit threat" of violence to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
What is the background?
On Monday, Trump's attorneys filed a motion requesting the appointment of a "special master" to review the items FBI agents seized from Mar-a-Lago for privileged information.
The 27-page court filing included the message that Trump relayed to Garland via a top Justice Department official, Jay Bratt, on Aug. 11.
That message said:
President Trump wants the Attorney General to know that he has been hearing from People all over the country about the raid. If there was one word to describe their mood, it is "angry." The heat is building up. The pressure is building up. Whatever I can do to take the heat down, to bring the pressure down, just let us know.
What did Haberman say?
Reacting to the court filing on CNN, Haberman alleged the message communicated an "implicit threat."
"It is notable that he referenced that conversation, that an intermediary had with Garland," Haberman began. "That is ... a classic Donald Trump move where he starts trying to have a negotiation with a prosecutor.
"But there is also an implicit threat, it seems, in what he is saying, which is, well, people are angry, and who knows what will happen," she charged.
Previously, in an interview on CNN's "New Day" last week, Haberman reported that Trump was trying to be "friendly" with the message, which at that time had not yet been confirmed to have existed.
"So Donald Trump has a very long history of trying to sort of both negotiate with prosecutors who are looking into him, this has been going on for decades, and also to try to send some kind of a 'friendly word' to people who are either writing about him or looking into him or whatever," Haberman explained.
"And this appeared to fall in that category," she declared at the time.