Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visits the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich. CREDIT: AP Photo/John Locher
Trump has no problem with them until they speak negatively about him.
At 3:20 a.m. Friday morning, Donald Trump posted a tweet denouncing the media for citing anonymous sources while reporting about him.
A number of hours later, he followed that up with another smear:
Trump, however, has repeatedly cited anonymous sources over the years while “reporting” things on Twitter.
Consider this tweet, which will go down in history as one of his most memorable:
Though the notion that Obama’s birth certificate is fraudulent had already been debunked by the time Trump posted that tweet, Trump continued to push the “birther” conspiracy theory for years. He finally acknowledged Obama is a U.S. citizen on September 16. Clearly in that situation his “extremely credible source” led him astray.
Trump’s birther tweet wasn’t the only time he cited anonymous sources to smear Obama:
Trump has also used anonymous sources to attack New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is currently investigating the Trump Foundation for fraud:
And, more recently, Trump cited “sources” while denouncing Hillary Clinton and the allegedly rigged system working on her behalf:
Despite Trump’s proclamation that “there are no sources,” CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter tweeted out a couple examples of how Trump contacts pass along information anonymously:
A Bloomberg report published hours after Trump’s Friday morning tweets illustrates why Trump wants to discredit anonymous sources. Citing “Florida campaign workers who requested anonymity out of fear of getting fired for speaking publicly,” Bloomberg reports that “The lack of basic campaign staples such as yard signs and bumper stickers forces staff to repeatedly turn away excited Trump backers who want to show their support.”
Earlier this week, another anonymous source told NBC that Trump is considering a major campaign shakeup because his current brain trust is hurting the Trump Organization’s bottom line:
Is the media making all of this information up? It seems unlikely. More probable is that Trump’s “there are no sources” claim is just another fib illustrating his fast and loose relationship with the truth.
It’s information that portrays him in an unflattering light, rather than anonymous sources themselves, that Trump wants to discredit.