Trump calls White House brief­ing story false news

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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