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White House Staffers Reportedly Slipping Trump ‘Fake News’ Stories While Not Complying with Record Keeping Laws

With President Donald Trump not being a prolific internet user outside of Twitter, where his tweets are usually dictated to an assistant, how is he made aware of some of the news stories that he talks about? Apparently, staffers print them out for him…and they don’t always go through official channels.

Politico reports that at a recent meeting of senior staff, White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, demanded that everyone stop trying to get articles in front of the president secretly. The catalyst was reported to be K.T. McFarland, the Deputy National Security Advisor, giving Trump a meme that uses a fabricated Time Magazine cover.

The narrative of the meme is, basically, not to trust scientists, as the fake “cover from 1977” pushes a story about the coming ice age, while the real 2006 cover is about global warming (before the term “climate change” became more widely used). A Twitter search shows the meme goes back as far as 2009, and Time debunked it in 2013.

According to “current and former Trump officials,” Trump can respond “volcanically” to negatives stories, although even more so with leaks, which gets him on a mission to find the source. For example, a story of questionable provenance stated that Deputy Chief of Staff, Kate Walsh, was “the source behind a bunch of leaks” ended up on his desk. Walsh no longer works there.

Walsh runs a pro-Trump firm and it was never stated what led to her departure, but it did lead to concern over who wanted Trump to see that story. Trump and his personal secretary ended up making “angry phone calls” to determine who was responsible. Chief strategist, Steve Bannon, meanwhile, issued the following statement:

“Katie was a key member of the team and is a trusted friend and ally of the White House. No one in the White House took that article seriously.”

Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, is currently trying to rectify the problem and is working to get staff to use official communication protocols in compliance with the Presidential Records Act. Paperwork that the president sees is supposed to be retained, archived, and sorted.