Report: Trump's Staffers Drop Fake News on His Desk

Politico talks to White House officials who describe unconventional 'free flow' of ideas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2017 11:04 AM CDT

(Newser) Politico says there's a "seemingly endless Game of Thrones" taking place inside the West Wing, with aides vying to get information furthering their own agenda in front of President Trump—even if that is an internet hoax, from an iffy source, or "fake news," per a handful of White House officials and others with access to the president who spoke anonymously. These sources say Trump can "react volcanically" to bad press, which can have "tremendous" consequences, with the president even switching gears in his routine or agenda based on something someone slipped him. The most recent incident: two old Time magazine covers (one turned out to be a hoax from the 1970s) handed to him by Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland, both of which apparently sent him into a frenzy about climate change and the hypocritical media before his staff could calm him down.

That hoax cover was described by a White House official to Politico as "fake but accurate." The site notes that the flow of information given to past presidents has typically been tightly reined in, but Trump prefers a "free flow of ideas" and content from "both official and unofficial channels." Because he apparently goes on the internet only rarely himself, whenever he becomes outraged over an article, his aides reportedly have to "scramble in a game of cat-and-mouse" to figure out who showed him the story. Chief of staff Reince Priebus and Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, have now put the kibosh on anyone sneaking over to the president with clippings or printouts and now have a system in place to monitor what he sees—a system that one source tells Politico is likely being ignored. (Wikipedia's founder thinks he knows how to fight fake news.)

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