You can’t make this stuff up.
Complaints from White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Monday about anonymous news sources prompted a testy exchange with reporters who noted that administration officials regularly demand anonymity.
Earnest was asked about a Washington Post report charging that the administration ignored predictions last year from the Department of Homeland Security about the surge of unaccompanied minors who have flooded across the border in recent months.
But the spokesman looked to challenge the report by arguing it was “based entirely on anonymous sources.” Earnest also offered a broader critique on the use of anonymous sourcing in a bid to challenge the credibility of the story.
“In the course of reporting, I think it’s important, based on my own personal view, for those kinds of quotes and those kinds of stories to be given greater weight than just anonymous sources,” Earnest said. “So, what that means is, if you have anonymous sources at the White House who are telling you something, and you’re gonna say to them — that anonymous source — ‘Look, I’m willing to give your side of the story a little less weight right now, because you’re telling me this anonymously.’ “
Speaking of anonymity:
The White House is holding a conference call “on background” later today to discuss an upcoming initiative. While speaking “on background,” members of the administration are only cited as officials, rather than by their name and titles.
What about your gaaaaafffffeeeess?
At the briefing: @PressSec falsely claims WaPo story depends on anonymous sources. In the inbox: WH invite for anonymous background briefing
— Dan Eggen (@DanEggenWPost) July 21, 2014
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) July 21, 2014