According to reports from the news outlets that weren’t banned from the press gaggle today, Spicer used the opportunity to bash the reporting on a story claiming the White House told the FBI to go to the press and quash another story.
Most of the 40-minute briefing between Spicer and a dozen outlets, including the Washington Examiner, focused on what the White House has deemed “inaccurate” reports by the New York Times and CNN. Citing anonymous sources, both outlets ran stories that said the administration wrongfully asked FBI officials to set reporters straight on President Trump’s relationship with Russia.
The Times claimed Priebus had asked McCabe during a private meeting to refute stories about ties between Trump aides and Moscow, a request the FBI allegedly rejected due to its policy of not commenting on pending investigations.
“When you look at the reporting the New York Times did, it was all background sources,” Spicer said. “I think there comes a point that if you’re going to make such serious allegations, you need to at least get somebody on the record.”
So according to the White House, the FBI went to THEM and said the story was false, then Spicer asked if they could go before the public, which the FBI denied. But when it was reported, it was made to appear that the White House first went to the FBI.
“You’ve got this story that comes out from the New York Times with unnamed sources [and] at some point, isn’t the story that the accusations that came out have been disputed?” he asked one reporter in the room. He noted that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. “came out and said the [Times] story is demonstrably false.”
The top White House spokesman said that going forward, reporters should refrain from making “serious allegations” unless they have someone doing so on the record.
Trump said this today at CPAC as well, prompting a lot of snarky twitterers to post this tweet from his account a long time ago:
An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama‘s birth certificate is a fraud.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
Later, of course, he said that he helped Obama by discrediting the birther conspiracy theory.
So are they being straight up now? With this White House, who knows.
Go ahead and consider this an open thread!!
This post originally appeared on The Right Scoop