Donald Trump Speaking at Microphone with Pursed Lips

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Trump threatens to cancel White House briefings after he contradicts staff on FBI firing

Trump is not happy the media is receiving false information.

May 12, 2017, 8:09 am*

Tech

 

David Covucci

With the White House’s unexpected firing of FBI Director James Comey, there’s been a swirl of differing accounts from Trump administration officials.

The initial story given was that Comey was fired for the way he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s use of private email for official state department business, a story that was backed up when Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters this week that Comey committed “atrocities” as part of the probe.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump himself disputed that, saying explicitly to NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired Comey over the Russia investigation.

The administration also pushed the narrative that many in the FBI supported the firing, which acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe disagreed with in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

That did not stop Sanders from continuing to push the narrative that “rank and file” FBI employees had lost confidence in Comey, leading to an extremely contentious White House briefing on Thursday, where reporters grilled Sanders for evidence supporting the claim, which she struggled to provide.

The president on Friday morning addressed his administration’s contradictions, saying on Twitter that since his deputies he has tasked with informing the press can’t provide accurate information, maybe the administration shouldn’t have briefings at all.

While that would prevent Trump’s surrogates from misstating things in response to probing questions, if the president goes on national TV and contradicts whatever they’ve been informed about, no amount of writing things down will prevent mixed messaging.

The president also took time out from stating it was not that big a deal for his administration to unintentionally give the media false information to hit the media for reporting what he believes is false information.

 

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*First Published: May 12, 2017, 8:08 am