MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell have a great theory that The New York Times is using Trump as an unnamed source.
O’Donnell said, “It was also interesting when you reported that report for The New York Times, saying that Donald Trump gave these witnesses permission. He authorized them to speak to the committee. It’s such a strange bit in the story. And, beg my theory about it. Just a theory, just a theory. Is that the source for The New York Times was Donald Trump. Because the reporters of that story have direct access to Donald Trump. As they have in the past. And it sounds like Donald Trump just trying to say, I am in complete control of this. The white house, the former white house counsel did not go and testify there today on his own without checking with me. I authorized it. That is just a theory.”
Maddow said, “ I’m in complete control! He is definitely still deferential to me. There is nothing to worry about. All this is fine. I don’t smell anything burning. That’s exactly what I thought as well. I mean, people who, one time, delivered a newspaper to the white house while Trump was president. And we’re like executive privilege! I can’t testify! But the White House Counsel and Deputy White House Counsel showing up? The idea that this is something that doesn’t bother Trump at all in terms of privilege claims puts the lie to the whole thing. I would bet money that what you’re surmising here is correct.”
One of the reporters on the NYT story was the Trump family connected Maggie Haberman, so that makes it almost obvious that Trump was the unnamed source in the story.
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Trump has a decades-long history of leaking to the press and being a source for stories. It is bad journalism for the Times to allow anyone to be an unnamed source, especially Trump, with his habit of pathological lying.
Donald Trump was described as “a person familiar with the matter” to give the story credibility. If the story had said that Trump claims to have given the former officials authorization to testify, it would have been less newsworthy and viewed as more Trump BS.
If Trump was the source, and it certainly looks that way, the story is an example of how the corporate media works with Trump to push his agenda without disclosing it to readers.
It is a deceptive practice that deserves to be highlighted by O’Donnell and Maddow.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association