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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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