Washington Post: Our story wasn’t fake, it led to Trump ousting Flynn – The Hill
The Washington Post on Friday pushed back against President Trump’s claims that a report about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with a Russian ambassador was “fake news.”
Trump on Friday obliquely referred to the Post’s story on Flynn that cited nine former or current officials, insisting the sources were made up.
“Everything we published regarding Gen. Flynn was true, as confirmed by subsequent events and on-the-record statements from administration officials themselves,” Post executive editor Marty Baron said in a statement.
“The story led directly to the general’s dismissal as national security adviser. Calling press reports fake doesn’t make them so.”
The Post reported earlier this month that Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the month before Trump took office. Flynn resigned from his position days later at Trump’s request.
Just as Trump finishes at CPAC, WaPo Executive Editor Marty Baron releases statement standing by nine-source story: pic.twitter.com/iS1Gar0PIe
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) February 24, 2017
But three days after Flynn stepped down, Trump defended the retired lieutenant general during a news conference, calling him a “wonderful man” who was treated “very, very unfairly” by the press.
During his Friday speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, Trump did not mention Flynn by name but talked about his problems with a story that had nine sources as he continued his ongoing attack on the media.
“There are no nine people. I don’t believe there was one or two people,” Trump said.
“And I said, ‘Give me a break,’ because I know the people. I know who they talk to. There were no nine people. But they say nine people. And somebody reads it and they think, ‘Oh, nine people, they have nine sources.’ They make up sources. They’re very dishonest people.”
Trump’s young administration has been roiled with frequent leaks from government officials and employees in its first month. The president has vowed to crack down on the disclosures, claiming that the leaks themselves are more concerning than the information they contain.