President Trump has a funny relationship with anonymous sources.
On Wednesday morning, the president released a tweetstorm accusing reporters of quoting anonymous sources that "don't even exist." He urged his followers that "when you see 'anonymous source,' stop reading the story, it is fiction!" But on Tuesday night, Trump called a report based on anonymous sourcing "a very big story." And a few years ago — and perhaps even a few days ago — he was one himself.
Trump's tirade on namelessness began in response to a July CNN report, in which "sources" said that ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen knew Trump okayed the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting. But Lanny Davis, Cohen's lawyer, told BuzzFeed News on Monday that one of the anonymous sources CNN cited was him, and that he couldn't actually back up the story.
In a tweet, Trump accused anonymous sources of being "fiction made up by the Fake News reporters." All these tweets sparked fond memories from reporters, particularly The New York Times' Maggie Haberman, who recalled Wednesday how Trump often "anonymously" served up stories about himself to the New York Daily News back in his real estate days. Others recalled how Trump reinvented himself as "John Barron," a "Trump Organization representative," on phone calls with reporters in the 1980s.
And, to be clear, often trying to make claims on background about himself with tenuous factual basis https://t.co/WBNBUEtUEH
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 29, 2018