Reporters fire back at Trump for ripping ‘anonymous sources’

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Reporters on Wednesday fired back at President Trump after he criticized the media’s use of “anonymous sources,” noting the president himself was often a background source for New York publications in the past.

New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman took to Twitter to point out that in the 1990s Trump was often “an anonymous source about himself” to the New York Daily News.

{mosads}“Pete Hammill didn’t want to run Trump stories at the NYDN in the 1990s because he said they were too often Trump trying to serve as an anonymous source about himself,” Haberman tweeted. “And, to be clear, often trying to make claims on background about himself with tenuous factual basis.”

A White House reporter at the Washington Post, Josh Dawsey, echoed Haberman’s statement, saying the president “was a longtime anonymous source for the New York Post.”

The president on Wednesday tweeted that readers should “stop reading the story” if the words “anonymous source” are in it.

Trump specifically referenced CNN’s use of anonymous sources in their bombshell report that the president knew about the Trump Tower meeting between members of his 2016 campaign and Russians.

Lanny Davis, who serves as the attorney for the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, told The Washington Post over the weekend that he was an anonymous source behind a CNN story in which he was also reported as giving no comment.

Davis later said he was unsure of the information he provided for the story. 

Davis, who has been an opinion contributor for The Hill, told NBC News Tuesday that acting as that source was “a major mistake for which I am 100 percent sorry. I never should have done it unless I was certain and could prove it.”

In response to the president’s Wednesday comments, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted, “Doesn’t mention that many WH briefings are conducted on background where reporters must agree not to identify sources by name.”

Lachlan Markay, a reporter for the Daily Beast, also pointed out that White House officials frequently speak on background as anonymous sources for stories.

“Reporters could always start ignoring that guidance and naming the officials anyway, citing the president’s own words,” Markay tweeted. “But the WH press shop would be livid and would probably stop inviting reporters who do so, or stop holding the briefings altogether.”

CNN political reporter Rebecca Berg also went after the president.

Berg was referring to Trump’s practice of posing as his own publicist early in his career under the pseudonyms “John Barron” and “John Miller.”

Kyle Griffin, the producer of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” called out the president for criticizing anonymous sources while, in the past, using them to make a point.

Griffin placed one of the president’s tweets criticizing the use of anonymous sources next to a tweet in which Trump alleged that an anonymous source confirmed that President Obama was not born in America.

Tags anonymous sources CNN Donald Trump New York Times Trump tweets Twitter Washington Post
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