“The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist,” Trump wrote on Twitter. "They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters. Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!”
“When you see ‘anonymous source,’ stop reading the story, it is fiction!” he added in a following tweet.
“Anonymous Sources are really starting to BURN the media.” @FoxNews The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters. Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
When you see “anonymous source,” stop reading the story, it is fiction!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
The president was specifically referring to a CNN story published in July that used anonymous sources in its reporting on how former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said Trump knew of the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, disclosed to BuzzFeed he was the unnamed source and divulged to The Washington Post that he is now uncertain of his claim.
However, CNN stands firmly by their reporting and states Davis was not the only source to corroborate the information.
Trump’s assertion sparked backlash from journalists, with some calling the president out for his hypocrisy. Trump was often the anonymous source for stories about himself and even served as his own spokesperson.
And, to be clear, often trying to make claims on background about himself with tenuous factual basis https://t.co/WBNBUEtUEH— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 29, 2018
The president was a longtime anonymous source for the New York Post, has called reporters not on-the-record as president and even surreptitiously acted as his own spokesman. https://t.co/QWD4BnspgZ— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 29, 2018
He literally made up a person, called the NY tabs and bragged about Donald Trump's virility and appeal to women. https://t.co/Cexn6563w6— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) August 29, 2018
Other reporters highlighted how anonymous sources have often been used to root out corruption and hold officials accountable.
Fact check: An "anonymous source" led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. https://t.co/9zY3FYIwe5— Courtney Norris (@courtneyknorris) August 29, 2018
And journalist and activist Shaun King noted how Trump’s past tweets contradict his declaration on anonymous sources today. King dug up a 2012 tweet from Trump’s birther conspiracy days in which Trump claimed an anonymous source told him former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate was fake.
I'm confused.— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 29, 2018
Donald Trump just tweeted that we should never believe anonymous sources. https://t.co/aop1tbncQX
Trump's latest tweets are just another example in a series of attacks against the media. As special counsel Robert Mueller's probe gains momentum, Trump frantically tries to discredit negative reporting about him and Russia.
But despite the president's attempts to stifle democracy, journalists refuse to be defeated and are pressing even harder for the truth.
Banner/thumbnail photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque