Last night, ABC News’ David Muir aired an interview with President Trump… and it is something.
I imagine by this morning the clips will be everywhere and you’ll see what I mean. Even if you don’t want to watch the whole thing, you should read the transcript that ABC News has posted online. It will give you a good idea of how the president is thinking right now.
I think there’s one thing we all can agree on after watching this: David Muir has an amazing poker face. Also, this:
After that interview, you might also understand why this administration leaks like a fire hose. On full blast. Here are some of the leaks that have just happened in the last 24 hours:
- The New York Times has a report on the leaked draft executive order that would reportedly restore CIA black site prisons as well as one on stepping back U.S. funding of international organizations like the United Nations.
- Vox has 4 different draft executive orders that were leaked.
- Someone leaked the infrastructure plan to The Kansas City Star. The administration said the papers were not official documents (leave that for interpretation) but the newspaper had several sources confirming they were presented to them as transition documents.
- Three staffers told The New York Times about the story Trump told about German golfer Bernhard Langer not being able to vote. He used it as an example of voter fraud which is troubling because Langer is a German citizen and is not allowed to vote in a U.S. election. (Langer’s daughter told The Times that her dad is a German citizen and not friends with Trump.)
Meanwhile, there are alleged “shadow” U.S. government twitter accounts going up… from the National Parks to NASA to an account purporting to be a White House leaker. The problem with these accounts is that journalists have not been able to vet them so we’re unsure if these are real accounts or just people taking advantage of the situation. Understandably, the people behind them have been reluctant to give their names but that makes it impossible for journalists to know for sure if these accounts are legit. (I’m not saying they’re not, just something to keep in mind.)
The downside of these leaks is the White House cannot be trusted with even the most basic facts. The West Wing implores a strategy of deflect, project and gaslight so it is hard for journalists to pin down answers or highlight contradictions. Press Secretary Sean Spicer already gave an entire press conference full of false information.
I have yet to see them acknowledge any story or confront it head on.
Take the infrastructure story in The Kansas City Star. The article notes how the White House said the document was not one of their official documents. Yet three other sources told The Star it was indeed a transition document. Man, it is both a challenging and important time to be a journalist.
If you haven’t already, please buy a subscription to your favorite newspaper because they are going to need more people to investigate these statements in the coming months.