Trump's 'phony' source turns out to be White House official

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"But Mr. Trump saw that it played well in the conservative news media", per the Times, "and so in November, he began using it, the two aides said".

The term, which refers to an alleged cabal of nefarious actors wielding the USA intelligence apparatus to sabotage Trump and his administration, is a popular rallying cry amongst the president's media defenders.

On Friday, Mark Landler and David Sanger of the Times reported that Trump might reschedule his now-canceled summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which was originally set to take place in Singapore on June 12.

"The Failing @nytimes quotes 'a senior White House official, ' who doesn't exist, as saying 'even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.' WRONG AGAIN!"

In a barrage of tweets Saturday morning, Trump attacked the article for suggesting disagreements within the administration on a diplomatic strategy for North Korea, and admonished The Times to use "real people not phony sources".

On Saturday, Trump called New York Times corrupt for using "phony" sources.

The Times reacted in a report 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". Dale also tweeted a picture of a White House notice that confirmed a "senior White House official will hold an off-camera, not for broadcast, background briefing on North Korea".

It was the White House press office that invited reporters to the background briefing, both to attend in person or to call-in and insisted that the official's identity be hidden. The AP reporter in attendance questioned why the briefing was not on the record - meaning that the official's name could be used. "June 12th is in 10 minutes and the president has said that someday he looks forward to meeting with him".

In his Saturday tweet, Trump seemed to take issue with how the official's remarks were characterized.

The president has offered different messages on North Korea since canceling the summit, most recently indicating it might still happen on June 12.

The Times report, the latest from Maggie Haberman and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, details how conspiracy theories on the fringes of right wing media end up on the president's desk and are in turn amplified by his Twitter account and favorable media.

Sanger's colleague Maggie Haberman added: "Imagine being the WH background briefer who led this briefing, who now has his boss - the president of the U.S. - saying he/she doesn't exist".

The piece quotes his biographer, Gwenda Blair, says it's about reinforcing the idea that you can't believe anything.

According to Stahl, he replied, "You know why I do it?"

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