The New York Post reporter whose byline was attached to a story about migrant children getting a copy of Vice President Kamala Harris’ book as part of “welcome kits,” resigned on Tuesday after she said she was “ordered to write” the story.
“Today I handed in my resignation to my editors at the New York Post,” reporter Laura Italiano posted to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. “The Kamala Harris story—an incorrect story I was ordered to write and which I failed to push back hard enough against—was my breaking point. It’s been a privilege to cover the City of New York for its liveliest, wittiest tabloid—a paper filled with reporters and editors I admire deeply and hold as friends. I’m sad to leave.”
The story, which was first published last week, alleged that children who crossed the border were getting copies of Harris’ book as part of a “welcome kit.”
The story was cited in numerous Fox News segments and went viral in conservative circles. According to the Daily Beast, a Fox News reporter even posed a question about the book to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing last week.
A Washington Post fact check found that the story was false. They only found one photograph of a single copy of Harris’s book that was donated to the facility as part of a book and toy drive for migrant children.
“The City of Long Beach, in partnership with the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, has a citywide book and toy drive that is ongoing to support the migrant children who are temporarily staying in Long Beach at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shelter,” city spokesman Kevin Lee told the Washington Post. “The book you reference is one of hundreds of books that have already been donated. The book was not purchased by HHS or the City.”
The NY Post temporarily removed the story on Tuesday, but has since republished it with an editor’s note advising that only “one known copy of the book” was given to a child.