Echoing President Trump’s tweets, a White House spokesman blasted “fake news” about the Administration and declined to answer questions about recent reports on Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
In his first on-camera press briefing in nearly two weeks, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer argued that news stories that use anonymous sources are unreliable, and called recent reports in the Washington Post and the New York Times that Kushner had worked to establish backchannel communications with Russia during the presidential transition unsubstantiated.
“There’s a lot of this stuff that has gotten pushed out based on unnamed unaccountable sources and it is very troubling,” he said. “And I think when you see the same kind of thing happen over and over again it is concerning.”
The White House is not always troubled by anonymous sources. Earlier Tuesday, Trump retweeted a link to a Fox News story which claimed, based on a single anonymous source, that Kushner did not discuss setting up a backchannel with Russia at the meeting.
Spicer added that the President’s agenda and accomplishments have been overshadowed by a “perpetuation of false narratives.”
“He’s frustrated … to see stories come out that are patently false, to see narratives that are wrong, to see ‘fake news,'” Spicer explained.
Pressed for an example of “fake news,” Spicer cited a widely circulated tweet from a BBC reporter at the G7 Summit in Italy that appeared to showTrump without a translation headset while the Italian Prime Minister was speaking. Spicer had already noted on Twitter that Trump was wearing a single earpiece that was not visible in the video.
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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com