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White House planted fake story to smear Politico reporter who wrote about leaks: reports

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Alex Isenstadt (Facebook)

The White House apparently attempted to smear a critical reporter by planting a story about him laughing at the mention of a Navy SEAL’s death.

Politico published a story Sunday morning by Alex Isenstadt and Annie Karni on a surprise meeting called by White House press secretary Sean Spicer to examine aides’ phones and other electronic devices for evidence of leaks.

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When multiple sources leaked details of that meeting to Isenstadt and Karni, it appears other White House officials slapped back at one of the Politico reporters using the death of a Navy SEAL killed just days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a controversial Yemen raid.

The Washington Examiner published a story Sunday evening, about six and a half hours after the “phone check” report broke, that claims one of the Politico reporters mocked a Trump aide’s emotional reaction to the death of Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens.

Politico’s editor, Carrie Budoff Brown, accused the White House of anonymously planting a false story to smear one of the website’s reporters.

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Trump complained last week that anonymous sources should be banned as sources of “fake news.”

Isenstadt and Karni reported that Spicer had caused deputy communications director Jessica Ditt to cry after criticizing her work at a staff meeting — but the press secretary offered a denial to Politico.

“The only time Jessica recalls almost getting emotional is when we had to relay the information on the death of Chief Ryan Owens,” Spicer said.

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Hours after that story broke, “one informed official” told the Examiner‘s Paul Bedard that Isenstadt “appeared dismissive and laughed” at Spicer’s denial.

“He started laughing about that SEAL,” the “informed official” told the Examiner.

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That anonymous White House source also complained that Politico had described Ditt as a “more junior spokesperson,” which the official found “insulting.”

Politico spokesman Brad Dayspring flatly denied that Isenstadt had laughed at the reference to Owens’ death, and the Examiner’s Bedard defended his use of the anonymous source for his report.

“I thought Brad had a good response as did the anon Politico who characterized Spicer,” he told Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple.

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Medical expert doubts Trump’s claim every America will have a COVID vaccine by April: ‘I don’t see how that’s possible’

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Speaking on CNN this Friday, professor of tropical medicine, Dr. Peter Hotez, pushed back on President Trump's claim that every American will have access to a coronavirus vaccine by April.

According to Hotez, there's "just too many unknowns right now" for Trump or any other administration official "to make such a statement.

Even if the vaccines currently in development work, "we don't have the details on the distribution," he added.

"There's going to be a lot of unknown questions," he continued. "We have to really take it in stages."

Watch the video below:

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Shocking emails document Trump administration’s scheme to muzzle the CDC — and misinform Americans

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Emails obtained by The New York Times detail how Trump administration political appointees sought to silence the Centers for Disease Control during the coronavirus pandemic.

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‘That is not true’: MSNBC cuts away from Trump’s press briefing after he claims Biden is anti-vaccine

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During a press briefing at the White House this Friday, President Trump touted the coronavirus vaccine currently in development, preemptively calling it “successful” and saying that it will save “millions of lives.”

While making his comments, Trump took a dig at Joe Biden, claiming he espouses "anti-vaccine theories" and he's "putting a lot of lives at risk" for "political reasons."

Trump's words prompted MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin to cut away from the briefing and issue a fact check.

"Obviously there's no evidence of that -- that is not true," Mohyeldin said.

Watch the video below:

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