U S President Donald Trump has accused The New York Times on Saturday May 25th 2018 of inventing a source for a story who was a White House official conducting a briefing for reporters under the condition that the official should not be named.
President Trump took to twitter to state that The New York Times quoted an official “who doesn’t exist” and referenced a line in the story about a possible summit with North Korea, which read: “a senior White House official told reporters that even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.”
Said Trump: “WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.”
The Times reacted in a report about the tweet that it had cited “a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room.”
The White House did not respond immediately to the request for comment.
This is not the first times Trump is criticizing the use of unnamed sources and labeled information related by unnamed officials “fake news.” Yet, White House regularly go for briefings with officials who demand that their identity be hidden before they would release information, a practice that was also used by previous administrations.
At the briefing, which was attended by The Associated Press, the official cast doubt on the feasibility of a June 12 summit.
“I think that the main point, I suppose, is that the ball is in North Korea’s court right now. There’s really not a lot of time,” the official said. “There’s a certain amount of actual dialogue that needs to take place at the working level with your counterparts to ensure that the agenda is clear in the minds of those two leaders when they sit down to actually meet and talk and negotiate and hopefully make a deal. And June 12 is in ten minutes.”
It was the White House press office that invited reporters to the background briefing, both to attend in person or to call-in and insisted that the official’s identity be hidden. Though the AP reporter in attendance questioned why the briefing was not on the record — which means that the official’s name could be used. And then the official said that the president had been talking publicly during the day, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and that the briefing was intended to provide “background context.”