July 14, 2017
White House operatives are preparing a major smear campaign aimed at discrediting journalists
by Taylor Sperry
In keeping with the administration’s, uh, tenuous relationship with the media, the Trump White House has indicated it will be embarking on a campaign to undermine journalists who have reported on Donald Trump, Jr.,’s mind-boggling email correspondence with Robert Goldstone. (If you’ve managed to stay off the news this week: 1) Way to go; 2) The exchange shows that in June of 2016, one of Trump’s former business associates arranged a meeting for Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, and Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, with “a Russian government attorney” offering information that “would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]” and was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Jr.’s response was a bro-y “I love it.” #loveit.)
For the Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker report, “Their plan, as one member of [Trump’s] team described it, is to research the reporters’ previous work, in some cases going back years, and to exploit any mistakes or perceived biases. They intend to demand corrections, trumpet errors on social media and feed them to conservative outlets, such as Fox News.”
It’s Classic Trump, and, as one “outside adviser” indicated, it’s also a dubious strategy: “The meeting happened. It’s tough to go to war with the facts.”
That said, 2016 and 2017 haven’t exactly been banner years for Facts.
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.