A star White House reporter for The New York Times has pulled out of her deal to pen a book on President Trump’s White House.
Maggie Haberman, whose byline has appeared on many a political scoop for the Times in recent years, is said to no longer have a book contract with Penguin Random House. It’s thought Haberman made the decision to pull out of the deal a few months ago and that the decision was her own, but the exact motivation is unclear.
Haberman, who briefly alluded in a reader question-and-answer session right before the Fourth of July holiday that she was no longer working on the book, could not be reached for comment, nor could a representative for Penguin Random House. A spokeswoman for the Times declined to comment.
The book publisher in September 2017 revealed its deal with Haberman for a book on the first year of the Trump White House. The deal initially included Glenn Thrush, then another high-profile White House reporter for the Times, but he was dropped only a few months later, according to a report in The Washington Post. That move came after Thrush was accused of “inappropriate sexual behavior” by a few former Politico colleagues and suspended by the Times while it looked into his conduct. He was eventually kept on at the Times but taken off the White House beat, although he continues to cover politics, including some Democratic 2020 presidential candidates.
As of last spring, Penguin Random House said it was moving forward with the White House book with Haberman alone, but at some point this year, she decided to leave the project and the publisher. The Times signs off on all staff book deals and outside paid projects but was not involved in the decision to end this one.
While Haberman’s deal with Penguin Random House may have ended, it seems likely she’ll have another book deal sooner rather than later. Tomes on the current White House have been breaking sales records. “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff and “Fear” by Bob Woodward both exceeded one million copies sold by the start of the year, setting hardcover sales records for their respective publishers, Holt and Simon & Schuster.
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