Trump calls White House briefing story false news
of planning needed.’’
Trump then wrote on Twitter: ‘‘WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.’’
The Times reported in a story about the tweet that it had cited ‘‘a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room’’. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has repeatedly criticised the use of unnamed sources and labelled information related by unnamed officials as ‘‘fake news’’.
Still, his White House regularly arranges briefings with officials who demand anonymity before relaying information – a practice also used by previous administrations.
While Trump asserted the official did not exist, he also took issue with how the Times paraphrased the remarks.
When asked at the briefing, which was attended by the Associated Press, if it was possible for the summit to go forward by June 12, the official cast doubt but did not give a definitive answer.
‘‘I think that the main point, I suppose, is that the ball is in North Korea’s court right now. There’s really not a lot of time,’’ the official said.
‘‘There’s a certain amount of actual dialogue that needs to take place at the working level with your counterparts to ensure that the agenda is clear in the minds of those two leaders when they sit down to actually meet and talk and negotiate and hopefully make a deal. And June 12 is in 10 minutes.’’
The White House press office had invited reporters to the background briefing – either by attending in person or by phone conference – and insisted that the official not be named.
The AP reporter in attendance questioned why the briefing was not on the record — meaning that the official’s name could be used.
The staffer said Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had both spoken publicly that day so the briefing was intended to give ‘‘background context’’. -AP