Trump blasts me­dia again

Slams use of anony­mous sources even as White House uses them

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump un­loaded on the news me­dia Fri­day for us­ing anony­mous sources — just hours af­ter mem­bers of his own staff in­sisted on brief­ing re­porters only on con­di­tion their names be con­cealed.

Un­leash­ing a line of at­tack that en­er­gized an en­thu­si­as­tic crowd at the na­tion’s largest gath­er­ing of con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists, Trump said un­eth­i­cal re­porters “make up stories and make up sources.”

“They shouldn’t be al­lowed to use sources un­less they use some­body’s name,” he de­clared. “Let their name be put out there.”

Trump told the Con­ser­va­tive Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tion Con­fer­ence that while not all re­porters are bad, the “fake news” crowd “doesn’t rep­re­sent the peo­ple. It will never rep­re­sent the peo­ple and we’re go­ing to do some­thing about it.”

Trump didn’t ex­pand on what he had in mind or which news or­ga­ni­za­tions he was talk­ing about. But his broad­sides rep­re­sented an es­ca­la­tion of his run­ning bat­tle against the press, which he has taken to call­ing “the op­po­si­tion party.”

The pres­i­dent has chafed at a num­ber of anony­mously sourced stories, in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous re­ports de­scrib­ing con­tacts be­tween his cam­paign ad­vis­ers and Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence agents, which the White House has sharply dis­puted.

How­ever, mem­bers of his White House team reg­u­larly de­mand anonymity when talk­ing to re­porters. That was the case Fri­day morn­ing when Trump of­fi­cials briefed re­porters on chief of staff Reince Priebus’ con­tact with top FBI of­fi­cials con­cern­ing the Rus­sia re­ports.

Later Fri­day, af­ter Trump’s speech, sev­eral news or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing The New York Times, The Los An­ge­les Times, CNN and Politico were blocked from join­ing a White House me­dia gag­gle, ac­cord­ing to news re­ports.

The As­so­ci­ated Press chose not to par­tic­i­pate fol­low­ing the move by White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer. Lauren Eas­ton, the AP’s direc­tor of me­dia re­la­tions, said in a state­ment: “The AP be­lieves the public should have as much ac­cess to the pres­i­dent as pos­si­ble.”

Trump’s ap­pear­ance at CPAC rep­re­sented a tri­umph for both speaker and au­di­ence — each as­cen­dant af­ter years when they were far from the cen­tre of the po­lit­i­cal uni­verse.

El­iz­a­beth Con­nors of New York re­called past gath­er­ings as col­lec­tions of the “down­trod­den.”

To­day, she said, “it’s en­er­gized” af­ter years in which “we’ve been just pushed down, pushed down, pushed down.”

Ni­cholas Hen­der­son of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was there in his “Make Amer­ica Great Again” hat and pro­nounced Trump’s speech rous­ing.

“He touched on a lot of things we’d al­ready heard be­fore, which is re­as­sur­ing, tells us he’s still com­mit­ted to those prom­ises he made dur­ing the cam­paign,” Hen­der­son said.

AP PHOTO

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ges­tures as he speaks at the Con­ser­va­tive Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tion Con­fer­ence Fri­day.

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