Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trump Team Denies National Guard Report, Then Admits There is a Real Document

President Trump’s Administration labeled The Associated Press’s reporting on a leak “100 percent false” on Friday morning, only to acknowledge less than an hour later that the story was based on a real document.

The Administration’s response mimicked Trump’s remark a day earlier that even if leaks coming out of the Fovernment are “real,” the news is “fake.” And it also fit into what appears to be a pattern of ignoring reporters’ requests for comment, only to push back quickly after stories are published, as Fake.

The AP tweeted that the Administration was considering using as many as 100,000 National Guard troops “to round up” Undocumented Immigrants. The News organization soon published a full story, attributing the details of the possible plan to a 11-page Draft memo it had obtained.

The White House and Department of Homeland Security failed to respond to the AP’s requests for comment prior to publication, the News organization noted. But immediately after the AP published its explosive story, the White House and DHS denied it.

“Not true,” Michael Short, a Senior Assistant to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, tweeted at 10:26 a.m. A DHS spokeswoman said it was “not true” 10 minutes later. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters aboard Air Force One that the AP report was “100 percent not true,” according to a pool report distributed to reporters at 10:40 a.m. “I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted,” Spicer told reporters. An AP reporter responded that the news organization had sought comment “multiple times before publication,” according to the pool report.

Then a Cox Media Group Producer tweeted at 11:03 a.m. that a DHS official said the Memo cited by the AP was “a very early” draft and “was never seriously considered.”

The White House and DHS could’ve clarified that the draft wasn’t being seriously considered by the Administration prior to publication, as journalists noted on Twitter. The Administration’s failure to respond left people to speculate about its motives.

Arizona State journalism professor Dan Gilmor also questioned the Administration’s complete denial of the contents of the document, since the document does exist.

Journalists have complained recently that the Trump Administration, which frequently decries “fake news,” often fails to respond to Requests for Comment that would allow reporters to include the Administration’s perspective or denials in their original story.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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