There is a growing call for the anonymous sources who were cited in the bombshell report from The Atlantic to come forward and defend their damning claims against President Trump.
Trump and many from the White House staff have forcibly denied the allegations published in The Atlantic on Thursday evening alleging, according to four unnamed sources, that the president disparaged fallen soldiers buried at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery near Paris as “suckers” and the land was “filled with losers” back in 2018, in addition to trashing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., following his death.
However, despite other media outlets “confirming” the reporting of The Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg, a story this explosive and so close to the 2020 election is getting intense scrutiny from members of the mainstream media.
“Since Trump is now denying what @JeffreyGoldbertg has reported, his sources have a duty to go on the record and tell the voters first-hand what they saw and heard,” Washington Post columnist Max Boot declared.
“The sources in the Atlantic story should go on the record, if they want people to believe them over Trump. Otherwise, the president’s supporters will largely disbelieve this story,” CBS News reporter Kathryn Watson said. “We have an important election coming up. People should have all possible information plainly before voting for their commander-in-chief.”
“Seriously, @JeffreyGoldberg piece is important and terrific reporting. Where the hell were these sources when it happened? Did I miss the part where any of those who heard the President attack war heroes quit in protest, or went on the record to tell us about this now?” The New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser asked.
“You know what: It is time for these careerists to go ON the record. Enough,” Washington Post writer and MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin tweeted.
Many are calling on former White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, who accompanied the president on his 2018 trip to France that is in question and was referenced by The Atlantic, to either confirm or debunk the reporting.
“If only John Kelly could say on the record what happened,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted.
“John Kelly should confirm the reporting,” Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast urged the former Trump aide.
Even CNN’s go-to media defender Brian Stelter said it was time for the anonymous sources to “put up or shut up.”
“We have to keep, you know, the White House’s credibility in mind when we cover this, but it is also incumbent on the sources, on the people that are talking to Goldberg, on the people who are talking to other outlets, the president is denying it explicitly. So it’s put up or shut up time,” Stelter said.
When asked on Friday why the anonymous sources have not gone on the record, Goldberg suggested that despite his efforts, they didn’t want to be “inundated with angry tweets and all the rest.”
President Trump offered strong denials both to reporters and on Twitter, calling the report “made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election.”