US Justice Dept. issues warning against believing anonymous sources

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 20, 2017

Asked about the impetus for the statement, a Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner sits with his wife Ivanka Trump (L) at President Donald Trump's joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. March 17, 2017.

A day after press reports of new revelations in the Russian Federation investigation, the Justice Department warned Americans in an official statement to be skeptical of reports that rely on information from anonymous sources.

'Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous "officials", particularly when they do not identify the country - let alone the branch or agency of government - with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated, ' the unusual statement read.

Many reporters quickly pointed out the statement as freaky on Twitter, speculating that the Justice Department was attempting to squash existing leaks, or possible a story that hasn't yet been reported.

"The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy", Mr Trump tweeted in February.

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CNN recently had to add an embarrassing correction to a story ahead of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony.

'Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations.

Wednesday's Washington Post article caused a firestorm in the White House on Thursday, particularly because President Trump had been trying so hard to prove that he was not a focus of the Russian Federation investigation. The Post cited five anonymous individuals briefed on the interview requests for the investigation. Trump lashed out on Twitter, calling the news a "witch hunt" and a "phony story".

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If Rosenstein were to recuse himself, the responsibility of overseeing the special counsel would fall to the department's third-highest-ranking official, Rachel Lee Brand, who was confirmed a month ago to be associate attorney general. But Adam Blickstein, the former Pentagon public affairs strategic planner, says the recent statements are "extraordinary" even in this context.

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