‘Sources say’ stories are all fake news? Trump takes aim at media’s penchant for anonymous tip-offs

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US President Donald Trump has fired off another volley of Twitter wisdom in his endless war against ‘fake news,’ advising people to ignore stories based on information from unnamed sources.

“Do not believe any article or story you read or see that uses ‘anonymous sources’ having to do with trade or any other subject,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “Only accept information if it has an actual living name on it. The Fake News Media makes up many ‘sources say’ stories. Do not believe them!”

While some applauded the unsolicited advice, others noted that Trump has cited anonymous sources in the past, including in a 2012 tweet in which he said he had credible information that Barack Obama’s birth certificate was fake.

Articles citing anonymous sources have dogged Trump throughout his presidency, fueling rumors ranging from alleged conflicts within his administration to breakthroughs in trade negotiations with China. Some of the stories, later revealed to be unfounded, have even affected financial markets. The now-debunked conspiracy theory that Trump colluded with the Kremlin to win the White House was propelled by “bombshell” reports which often relied on unnamed sources and fell apart upon closer examination.

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