Washington Post: Our story wasn’t fake, it led to Trump ousting Flynn – The Hill
The Washington Post on Friday pushed back against President Trumpâs claims that a report about former national security adviser Michael Flynnâs conversations with a Russian ambassador was âfake news.â
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.
âEverything we published regarding Gen. Flynn was true, as confirmed by subsequent events and on-the-record statements from administration officials themselves,â Post executive editor Marty Baron said in a statement.
âThe story led directly to the generalâs dismissal as national security adviser. Calling press reports fake doesnât make them so.â
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 Trumpâs request.
Just as Trump finishes at CPAC, WaPo Executive Editor Marty Baron releases statement standing by nine-source story:Â pic.twitter.com/iS1Gar0PIe
â ErikWemple (@ErikWemple)Â February 24, 2017
But three days after Flynn stepped down, Trump defended the retired lieutenant general during a news conference, calling him a âwonderful manâ who was treated âvery, very unfairlyâ by the press.
During his Friday speech atÂ 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 heÂ continued his ongoing attackÂ on the media.
âThere are no nine people. I donât believe there was one or two people,â Trump said.
âAnd 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, âOh, nine people, they have nine sources.â They make up sources. They’re very dishonest people.â
Trumpâs 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.