Identity

Trump—Who Allegedly Used to Pose as His Own PR Person—Attacks Anonymous Sources

At CPAC, Trump said that news outlets "shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name." However, he allegedly used to speak to tabloids using a fake name to brag about himself.
February 24, 2017, 6:35pm

Below is what happened on Trump's 25th day in office. You can find out what damage was done every other day so far on the Saddest Calendar on the Internet.

"There's never been anything like this," Trump said of his momentum and supporters this morning at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference—a place he loves, full of people he loves, who at various points chanted, "Lock her up!" and yelled especially loudly when he promised to protect the 2nd Amendment

"I wouldn't miss a chance to talk to my friends," he said, before launching into a tirade about the New York Times, which he angrily predicted would falsely report that he didn't get a standing ovation: "They are the worst."

From there, he spent 13 minutes attacking the press, and anonymous sources in particular. "I'm against the people that make up stories and make up sources," he proclaimed. "They shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out."

"A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being," he continued, huffily impersonating the press.

This is, allegedly, possibly hypocritical of Trump; as the New York Times notes, he was once accused of "pos[ing] as his own public relations man to plant stories in New York tabloids." Trump's least favorite news outlet is referring here to allegations that the current president had masqueraded as a publicist on numerous occasions in order to brag about himself—a claim he denies.

According to the Washington Post, "New York reporters and editors who covered Trump's early career... in the 1970s, 80s and 90s" recall having conversations with two PR people: John Miller and John Barron, "who sound[ed] precisely like Trump himself—who indeed [were] Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself."

In a recording from 1991, which was obtained by the Washington Post, the self-identified publicist John Miller extolls Trump's virtues to a People reporter: "'Actresses,' Miller said in [the call], 'just call to see if they can go out with him and things.' Madonna 'wanted to go out with him.' And Trump's alter ego boasted that in addition to living with Maples, Trump had 'three other girlfriends.'"

In the recent past, Trump has also been accused of planting a story about Salma Hayek in the National Enquirer, after she refused to go out with him. Again, Trump denies this.

Trump's attack on anonymous sources also illustrates his blatant ignorance that sources often request anonymity for the protection of their job or even life. "Anonymous sources are sometimes the only key to unlocking that big story, throwing back the curtain on corruption, fulfilling the journalistic missions of watchdog on the government and informant to the citizens," Society of Professional Journalists website says.

It's likely Trump has more than a few people who'd like to talk about him anonymously. He also likely knows it.