Donald Trump has long blasted the major news media as an “enemy of the people,” most recently as Financial Times reports, using the phrase that had previously been used by totalitarian leaders such as Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin and Chinese Premier Mao Tse Tsung (per The Guardian) to describe the major cable network CNN.
But Trump’s statement posted to his Twitter account appeared to stand in stark contrast to a post he made to the social media platform only about eight hours earlier. At 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Trump posted, “‘Anonymous Sources are really starting to BURN the media.’ @FoxNews The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters. Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!”
And one minute later Trump posted another angry message about news stories that use anonymous sources to his Twitter feed.
“When you see ‘anonymous source,’ stop reading the story, it is fiction!” Trump wrote at 7:41 a.m. on Wednesday. But despite his apparent belief that any news story that relies on anonymous sources is “fiction,” at 11:11 p.m. on Wednesday night, Trump posted to his account, promoting a story from the conservative news site Daily Caller.
The Daily Caller story was headlined, “SOURCES: CHINA HACKED HILLARY CLINTON’S PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER.” But the “sources” in the story remained anonymous throughout. One was described as “a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously.”
Another was described only as “a government staff official who’s been briefed” on the alleged hacking of Clinton’s server by the Chinese government.
“Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!” Trump wrote on his Twitter feed Tuesday night.
In at least the case of the Daily Caller story, it appears that Trump’s later assertion that stories based on anonymous sources are “fiction” had some truth to it. According to a Washington Post report, the FBI on Wednesday flatly denied that it had found any evidence that Clinton’s controversial private email server had been breached by China — or anyone else.