President Donald Trump focused his ire on one of Palo Alto's own on Sunday morning: Laurene Powell Jobs.
Powell Jobs and her nonprofit educational organization Emerson Collective, are the majority stakeholders in The Atlantic, the magazine that published an explosive story about Trump on Sept. 3. The story, written by Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg, reported that Trump called American soldiers who died in war "losers" and "suckers," based on interviews with four anonymous sources with first-hand knowledge, according to the magazine. Multiple news organizations, including The Washington Post, CNN and Fox News, confirmed parts of the story with former senior officials. Trump has denied the allegations.
On Sept. 6, Trump commented on a tweet by Charlie Kirk, chairman of pro-Trump student group Trump Students. Kirk wrote that Powell Jobs had heavily donated to former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign and that she owns The Atlantic.
"Steve Jobs would not be happy that his wife is wasting money he left her on a failing Radical Left Magazine … and spews FAKE NEWS & HATE," Trump wrote in part. "Call her, write her, let her know how you feel!!!"
He also called Goldberg a "con man."
Asked if Trump's tweet should be seen as a threat by CNN's Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources on Sunday, Goldberg said: "You know, I spent a lot of my career covering dictatorships in the Middle East, and so I'm familiar with this kind of discourse. It is a threat. It is meant to intimidate."
He added: "I would just say that we are not gonna be intimidated by the President of the United States. We're going to do our jobs, and I think that's true for a large number of outlets to his intense frustration, which comes out in these outbursts. It comes from the fact that unlike dictators in other countries, he cannot simply shut down media outlets that he doesn't like. It's our duty to continue to pursue the truth no matter what he says about us."
Powell Jobs could not immediately be reached for comment through the Emerson Collective, a social change organization that focuses on education, immigration reform, health, the environment and media and journalism.
The widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is ranked as the 30th richest person with a net worth of $33.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index of the world's top 500 richest people. She purchased a majority stake in The Atlantic in 2017. She also owns a majority stake in Axios and Pop-Up Magazine, according to news reports.
In a 2019 interview with Recode's Kara Swisher at the Lesbians Who Tech conference in San Francisco, Powell Jobs said she was investing in journalism because it is integral to the nation's democracy. She criticized attacks on the media by Trump and others like him.
"It's right out of a dictator's playbook," she said.