Trump Invents New Word for Lying: “Misdirection Play”

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Yesterday President Trump invited a bunch of network anchors to lunch and told them he was open to a comprehensive immigration bill that included a path to legal status—but not citizenship—for undocumented immigrants. The anchors were permitted only to source this to a “senior administration official,” and they did. This fed a round of positive news coverage in the hours leading up to Trump’s address to Congress.

Today, however, CNN reports that Trump was deliberately lying to them. Mediaite has the story:

CNN reported Wednesday on a senior administration official admitting that the White House intentionally misled reporters ahead of President Donald Trump‘s congressional address in order to get generate positive press coverage as part of a “misdirection play.”

….Host John King wondered why reporters should even trust the White House going forward. “It does make you wonder; so we’re not supposed to believe what the senior-most official at the lunch says — who then they allowed it to be the president’s name says — we’re not supposed to believe what they say?” he asked. “Maybe we shouldn’t believe what they say.”

What are reporters supposed to do the next time Trump tells them something on background? Or any other White House official? Given their track record, can reporters believe anything they say?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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