News & Politics

David Fahrenthold Leaves Washington Post for New York Times

Fahrenthold. Photo by Bill O'Leary

David Fahrenthold will leave the Washington Post for the New York Times, Post staffers learned in a memo Monday. He’ll be an investigative reporter and will work from the Times’ Washington bureau, according to a Times memo.

Fahrenthold joined the Post in 2000 and became very well known in October 2016, when he reported that then GOP nominee Donald Trump had been recorded having a disgusting conversation about women with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. Fahrenthold’s article about the tape set readership records at the Post and briefly knocked its web servers offline. The ensuing fracas caused some Republicans to withdraw their support for Trump’s candidacy; he sort of apologized and, after he won election anyway, later began to lie that it wasn’t his voice after all.

Fahrenthold returned to reporting on Trump’s family and businesses after this coup. He’d previously reported out Trump’s bogus claims of philanthropy, famously using legal pads and pens as primary reporting tools. The reporting earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 2017. He continued to plumb the Trump Organization’s finances, reporting on how Trump’s company charged the US government vast sums in connection with Trump’s visits to his properties, for instance. Trump’s White House, comically, ordered the Post to cease reporting on the President and claimed it was “building up a very large ‘dossier’” on Fahrenthold.

Fahrenthold did not reply to phone calls or emails Sunday.

Here’s the memo, which includes a few missing spaces between words:

We are sorry to announce that David Fahrenthold is leaving to join The New York Times.

Dave joined the Post in 2000 as a summer intern on the city desk and delivered stand-out work on every beat he did, including covering the nightside cops beat, the D.C. police department and as a roving New England reporter.

Dave joined the political staff in 2010 to cover Capitol Hill, where he highlighted the often absurd nature of Congress. Dave took that same approach to covering the federal bureaucracy, where he enlightened readers about the national raisin reserve, as well as a federal benefits office located underground in an abandoned mine cavern.

Since 2016, he has covered Donald Trump’s finances, memorably exposing Trump’s troubled philanthropy through a pioneering combination of shoe-leather reporting, social media sleuthing and legal pad record-keeping. Dave’s reporting, along with his Access Hollywood scoop, earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 2017. Since then, he has continued to break news and lead the pack on reporting about Trump’s business.

Along with his work, we will miss Dave’s sharp humor, good cheer and friendship. We wish him well in his new venture.

Steven    Matea Peter

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.