Donald Trump Loathes Anonymous Sources Until They Help Him

Ever since Donald Trump took the oath of office, multiple stories have broken that are detrimental to him and his administration. Many of the sources for these stories in question are on background, meaning they’re anonymous.


Contrary to what people think, journalists would rather their sources go on the record. Recently, I spoke with NY Times reporter Glenn Thrush (don’t laugh – you’d be very surprised to learn what he has to say about anonymous sources and press accessibility with Trump vs. Obama) about anonymous sources, and there is a rigid process for going to press using them. Still, people are prone to be skeptical of such stories because they assume a source can lie if they’re anonymous as it won’t have consequences (outside their relationship with the reporter).

President Trump often lashes out at stories that put him or his administration in a bad light going so far as to say media outlets shouldn’t “be able” to print or broadcast anything based on anonymous sources.

Trump’s complaining rings hollow. One of the things I learned talking to Thrush was how much Trump was an anonymous source during his time as a reporter for the Daily News and Newsday. Also, Trump retweeted the following story today:


It’s Catherine Herridge’s story, and the source is anonymous. 

That was followed by these two tweets:

Based on the timing, it’s obvious Trump was watching Fox & Friends who had this to say about Page:

There is a major problem with the story: It’s never been confirmed Page was going to testify. 

From Politico:

“Details still being worked out,” Page said of his testimony next month. “We’ll see.”

Members of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, seemed taken aback when informed of the ABC News report, saying they had not heard about a hearing date being set.

“I know he was certainly on our list of requests,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the panel. “I hadn’t heard that he had confirmed.”

A spokesman for Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the panel’s top Democrat, said he could not confirm or comment on the hearing date.

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who is leading the investigation, twice declined to say whether Page would appear before his panel, saying: “I don’t talk about the details.”


Why would Democrats want to postpone testimony that was never scheduled and what on earth would Page be able to tell the committee about James Clapper and Jim Comey? Trump’s tweets are just bizarre.

Still, it’s somewhat amusing to see Trump embrace the story that helps him, even if it is based on anonymous sources.



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