Fox News’ national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin highlighted the hypocrisy of Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on journalists’ use of anonymous sources, saying she understands the president himself is “one of the biggest anonymous sources for the White House press corps.”
In the latest episode of Mediaite’s podcast “The Interview” released Thursday, Griffin explained why she used anonymous sources to verify elements of Trump’s reported insulting of U.S. troops that was first reported by The Atlantic last week.
Multiple other media outlets have independently confirmed Trump’s disparaging comments, including calling fallen U.S. World War I soldiers “suckers” and “losers.” Trump denied the remarks and demanded Griffin be fired from the conservative cable news network.
“Sometimes you have to use anonymous sources,” Griffin said on “The Interview.” “It’s not our preference. Of course I would prefer to have people on the record. But there are a variety of reasons right now, particularly under this administration, that anonymous sources are needed.”
Griffin recalled that Watergate whistleblower “Deep Throat” was one such source and “it didn’t make him less real. It didn’t make what he said less true.”
“That’s just the way it goes. And I’m quite certain that the president knows who these anonymous sources are, because they are real,” she said. She added that “it’s my understanding” that “one of the biggest anonymous sources for the White House press corps is President Trump himself, and the people around him are often the anonymous sources that you hear them talk about at the White House.”
“So, it’s completely hypocritical,” said Griffin. “People are picking and choosing when they want to hear from anonymous sources.”
“Again, as a journalist, it’s not my first choice,” the reporter continued. “I’d much prefer to have people on the record and for the most part, I do get people on the record, but this was a sensitive story and I have to respect the wishes of those sources as to why they don’t want to go on the record at this time.”
Trump, who before becoming president reportedly used a fake name to phone reporters pretending to be his own spokesperson, has repeatedly attacked critical stories based on anonymous sources. Meanwhile, he cites supposed anonymous sources to denounce rivals, promote conspiracy theories and make the case for his policies.
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