Justice Dept. issues warning against believing anonymous sources

Justice Dept. issues warning against believing anonymous sources
© Greg Nash

The Justice Department issued a statement Thursday night warning the media and other Americans against believing anonymous sources, and warning that the Justice Department doesn't confirm statements from unnamed officials.

"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials,' particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote Thursday.

"Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations," the statement continues. "The Department of Justice has a long-standing policy to neither confirm or deny such allegations."

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Many reporters quickly pointed out the statement as bizarre on Twitter, speculating that the Justice Department was attempting to squash existing leaks, or possibly a story that hasn't yet been reported. It was not immediately made clear if the statement was in reference to a specific story.

The statement was Rosenstein's first remarks since he said in a Senate hearing on Tuesday that he had not seen any "good cause" to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.