President shares segment about North Korea that cited ‘US officials’ who ‘requested anonymity’ less than a day after calling out the New York Times
Donald Trump shared a news story on Tuesday that cites anonymous sources and leaked intelligence less than 24 hours after criticizing the practice.
Then, early Tuesday morning, he shared three Fox and Friends news segments, including one about North Korea that cited “US officials with knowledge of the latest intelligence” but did not identify who the officials are, and quoted an “official who requested anonymity”.
The Fox News story asserted that US spy satellites had detected North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to a patrol boat.
As president, Trump would probably have access to information in the articles he shares that credit anonymous sources.
Criticizing the practice of anonymous sourcing, then sharing a story that cites anonymous sources soon after, has become something of a monthly pattern for the president.
In May, Trump encouraged people to question stories that include the phrase “sources say”, because “it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers”.
Two days later, he shared a Fox and Friends story about his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, that was attributed to anonymous sources.
Trump’s Twitter history is checkered with instances of citing anonymous sources or “many people are saying” to promote a message that aligns with his stated worldview but is not supported by facts.
But the attacks against journalists and news organizations who use anonymous sources escalated dramatically once Trump became a viable contender in the presidential election.
On 30 September 2016, Trump said: “Anytime you see a story about me or my campaign saying ‘sources said’, DO NOT believe it. There are no sources, they are just made up lies!”
Two weeks later, he shared a Fox News story…