World_news There’s no need to focus on anonymously-sourced stories about Trump when he says bonkers stuff out in the open – Washington Examiner


This past weekend followed a familiar pattern of stories about President Trump based on anonymous sources that get joked about and debated, then eventually denied.

In the most recent case, Axios, citing a number of officials anonymously, reported that Trump repeatedly inquired about the possibility of blasting hurricanes with nuclear weapons to stop them before they hit the shore. The story also quoted unnamed White House officials as defending Trump for having the right objective, downplaying any reason for panic. The reported idea has obviously not come into fruition.

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!”

Let me say at the outset, I don’t question that Axios reporters Jonathan Swan and Margaret Talev were told Trump said such things. Also, there is some room between Trump’s denial and the story — i.e., he could have asked about the possibility without actually affirmatively wanting to do it.

The problem with assessing stories such as this is that at this point, we know there are many people within the administration who do not agree with Trump — indeed, who see it as their duty to protect the country from him by reining him in. At the same time, people in position to be cited as high-ranking officials know that based on his statements and behavior in public, people will believe just about any story about Trump, and that there is an insatiable appetite for such stories. So the threshold for selling an outlandish story is much lower than the typical president.

But here’s the thing. To me, there’s no reason to get so worked about anonymously sourced stories at this point when there’s so much that Trump says and does in full public view that’s lamentable or absolutely bonkers.

Just last week, Trump vented about the disloyalty of Democratic voting American Jews, canceled a meeting with the leader of Denmark over the sale of Greenland, escalated his trade war with China on Twitter, called his own appointment to lead the Fed an “enemy” on par with the ruler of communist China, and then joked about the resulting stock market crash.

So critics and defenders have plenty of stuff to argue about without even debating the validity of the anonymously-sourced stuff.

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