Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning in an attempt to sever his followers even further from reality. As his presidency crumbles around him and impeachment in the House looms inevitably, he’s trying harder and harder to spin a version of events that paints him as the victim instead of an unrepentant criminal. The results are unconvincing and frankly pathetic.
Trump tweeted that we should not believe any news stories, presumably ones that are unflattering to him, that rely on “anonymous sources” to talk about “trade or any other subject.” He added that we should only “accept information” if it has an “actual living name on it.”
This advice is of course rubbish as anonymous sources have long been a reliable source for information so long as they’re cited by a reputable journalistic source. There is absolutely no reason to believe Trump’s claim that the “Fake News Media” invents sources. Trump lies every time he opens his mouth, so it’s usually safe to presume the opposite of what he says. If he says that anonymous sources cited by journalists are fake, it’s a safe bet it’s because they’re real and are revealing damaging information about him.
Newspapers can’t just make up stories because the moment they get caught doing such a thing their reputations would be destroyed forever. Journalists trade on their credibility, which means they are exceptionally careful about what stories they write and who they quote. The fact that sources wish to remain anonymous is more an indictment of Trump and his followers’ vindictive nature than anything else. One can hardly blame officials for wanting to avoid the influx of death threats and harassment that comes any time the president turns a hateful eye on someone.
Do not believe any article or story you read or see that uses “anonymous sources” having to do with trade or any other subject. Only accept information if it has an actual living name on it. The Fake News Media makes up many “sources say” stories. Do not believe them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
As Occupy Democrats’ own Brian Tyler Cohen pointed out, Trump had no issue with unnamed sources when it came to spreading his racist birther conspiracy about President Obama.
But I’m assuming “extremely credible sources” are still okay. pic.twitter.com/dMM5kAjjjM
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) December 6, 2019