Spicer Rips Unnamed Sources Hours After Trump Tweets Story With Unnamed Source
During the press conference, Spicerbashed the use of unnamed sources in reporting just hours after Trumptweeted a Fox News article based on information from an unnamed source.
As Spicer took questions during the conference, the conversation turned towardthe bombshell allegations recently directed at White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, who is also Trumps son-in-law.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported Kushner had approached Russian Ambassador about setting up a secure communication channel between Trumps transition team and the Kremlin.
Kushner reportedly suggested they use Russian diplomatic facilities for this, in what the Post described as an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring.
In other words, Kushner allegedly tried to set up a backchannel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government that couldnt be monitored by the US government in the months before Trumps inauguration.
This is unusual, and has placed Kushner under a great deal of scrutiny.
The Post gathered the information for this story via unnamed U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.
Trump doesnt seem to practice what he preaches when it comes to anonymous sources.
The presidenthas frequently complained about the use of unnamed or anonymous sources, especially in relation to the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaigns alleged collusion with Russian interference in the US presidential election.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted, Whenever you see the words sources say in the fake news media, and they dont mention names it is very possible that those sources dont exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!
But, on Tuesday, Trump tweeted an article from Fox News, which dealt with the recent reports surrounding Kushner, which quoted an unnamed source.
The Fox News article discredited the idea Kushner approached Russia about setting up a backchannel.
The president essentially told people not to trust reporting based on sources say less than 24 hours before retweeting something from Fox News that ended with source says.
Trump has condemnedthe use of anonymous sources when theyve been linked to reporting thats painted his administration in a negative light, butwhen a story with unnamed sources fed a narrative he liked, he endorsed it.
Reporters took issuewith Trumps apparent double-standard on this topic as they questioned Spicer on Tuesday.
Heres how Spicer responded:
In spite of the Trump administrations efforts to discreditthe use of unnamed sources, its been a common aspect of reporting for a long time.
These sources are not made up by fake news writers, as Trump claimed.
Theyre often officials within the White House or some other part of government who arent permitted to speak on the record and could face consequences for doing so, but feel the need to share information with the public via the press.
So, yet again, Trumps tweeting put his administration in an awkward position.