I’m no longer surprised, but still want to document.

This is really noteworthy. Today the President of the United States denied a statement that was issued in the White House by one of his own officials, claiming that the official does not exist and that the New York Times invented the source.

This is not about a reporter making an error, or selectively quoting part of a statement out of context in order to skew the meaning, or making a big deal out of some small gaffe with the goal of making Trump look bad. This is about the President accusing a journalist of lying when dozens of reporters who were in on the meeting, or listening by telephone, know the truth. Audio of the WH official being introduced and making the statement has surfaced. Trump supporters who already believe “the media” are biased and evil won’t be swayed by the evidence.

President Donald Trump on Saturday accused the New York Times of inventing an unnamed source who, in reality, spoke to reporters at a background briefing Thursday that the President’s own press office scheduled.

[…]

Trump has a long record of asserting that unnamed sources who provide inconvenient information don’t exist. His White House and others before it also have a long record of providing unnamed sources to the press corps in order to tell their side of the story in a more candid atmosphere.

Ronald Kessler reported in his recent book that Trump himself frequently acts as an unnamed source to news outlets. And as a New York City tabloid star before his political career began, Trump sometimes used fake personas when speaking to reporters. —TMP