CNN reported Wednesday on a senior administration official admitting that the White House intentionally misled reporters ahead of President Donald Trump‘s congressional address in order to get generate positive press coverage as part of a “misdirection play.”
Multiple reports Tuesday indicated that Trump would embrace a more moderate tone on immigration and would announce that he was willing to negotiate granting millions of illegal immigrants legal status. Most of those reports, cited to a “senior administration official,” came immediately after anchors lunched with Trump. Some of those outlets then just attributed the claim to the president himself.
But when it was time for Trump to actually give the speech, he said nothing of the sort. CNN’s Sara Murray complained the next day about “the bait and switch that the president pulled when it came to immigration yesterday. He had this meeting with the anchors, he talked about a path to legal status.”
“Basically they fed [them] things that they thought these anchors would like, that they thought would give them positive press coverage for the next few hours. A senior administration official admitted that it was a misdirection play,” she reported.
Host John King wondered why reporters should even trust the White House going forward. “It does make you wonder; so we’re not supposed to believe what the senior-most official at the lunch says — who then they allowed it to be the president’s name says — we’re not supposed to believe what they say?” he asked. “Maybe we shouldn’t believe what they say.”