White House Official Calls Out Raddatz for Anonymous Sources Hypocrisy

Things got super-heated on Sunday during ABC’s This Week, as the White House’s Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders locked horns with Martha Raddatz over the media hypocrisy with selectively picking which anonymous sources they’ll run with. “Why does he believe these articles that you say you cite, and I'm saying, ‘they are not definitive.’” Raddatz chided, seemingly in disgust, “And Heat Street, they have two sources with links to the counterintelligence community. That's it. Anonymous sources.

The flare up happened as a result of President Donald Trump using such reports to dubiously claim that the Obama administration ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower.

ABC’s fill-in moderator continue to berate her guest noting that Trump didn’t like the media’s use of anonymous sources to back up her anger. “I love how anonymous sources don't count when it's something that's positive in this administration and against the former one. You guys use anonymous sources every single day,” Huckabee Sanders shot back, “But now that there are new anonymous sources it doesn’t matter.

Yes, yes, we do. Yes, we do,” Raddatz responded, showing her approval of the practice. “The Washington Post says this morning that, “senior US officials with knowledge of the wide-ranging federal investigation into Russian interference into the election said there had been no wiretap,” she claimed, again using unnamed and faceless sources.

Huckabee Sander then chastised Raddatz and the liberal media for cherry-picking which details from those anonymous sources they use to magnify for their narrative:

Well, they've also said there's no evidence of any wrong doing by the Trump administration, or the Trump campaign in coordination. But that doesn't seem to matter to the media. That point gets continued to be ignored over and over again. We have been on this for six months and you guys continue to ignore that and continue to bring up the investigation.

Raddatz repeated the media’s red herring attack against the Trump administration of falsely claiming that the possible approval of a wiretapping from the FISA Court proved guilt. “If there was an order, there would have to be probable cause shown before it was granted,” she asserted, “So, isn't the President by saying, ‘this, indeed, happened,’ confirming that the investigation had enough evidence to get a FISA order?

As I noted earlier when NBC pulled the same logical fallacy, the FISA Court plays by a very fast and loose interpretation of probable cause. And according to The Guardian, “The secretive US foreign intelligence surveillance court did not deny a single government request in 2015 for electronic surveillance orders granted for foreign intelligence purposes, continuing a longstanding trend, a Justice Department document showed.” So if the FBI asked for a warrant during their Russian/election investigation, they most likely would have been granted one in their effort to find evidence.

But Huckabee Sanders made a great point. Raddatz’s dismissal of claims that don’t harm the Trump’s presidency demonstrates the liberal media singular focus of bringing down Trump. They also continuously neglect to remind the public that the leaks also say they’ve found no evidence of collusion during their months-long investigation. They’re just holding out hope for something to occur that could sink Trump’s presidency.

Transcript below:

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

ABC
This Week
March 5, 2017
9:11:04 AM

MARTHA RADDATZ: Okay. The President—let me say again—The President said it did take place. Why does he believe these articles that you say you cite, and I'm saying, ‘they are not definitive.’ The Breitbart brings them all together. And Heat Street, they have two sources with links to the counterintelligence community. That's it. Anonymous sources. The President constantly says he doesn't like anonymous source. And he doesn't like leakers.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I love how anonymous sources don't count when it's something that's positive in this administration and against the former one. You guys use anonymous sources every single day.

RADDATZ: Is that the bar? Yes, yes, we do. Yes, we do.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: But now that there are new anonymous sources it doesn’t matter.

RADDATZ: But the president believe this is -- but what's the bar there? What does the president believe?

HUCKABEE SANDER: Look, I think he's made very clear what he believes. And he's asking that we get down to the bottom of this. Let's get the truth here. Let's find out. I think the bigger story isn’t who reported it but is it true? I think the American people have a right to know if this happened. Because if it did, again this is the largest abuse of power that I think we’ve ever seen.

RADDATZ: Okay. Let me just say one more time. The President said, “I bet a good lawyer could make a great case OUT OF THE FACT that president Obama was tapping my phones in October.” So the President believes it is true?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: I would say that his tweet speaks for itself there.

RADDATS: The Washington Post says this morning that “senior US officials with knowledge of wide-ranging federal investigation into Russian interference into the election said there had been no wiretap.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Well, they've also said there's no evidence of any wrong doing by the Trump administration, or the Trump campaign in coordination. But that doesn't seem to matter to the media. That point gets continued to be ignored over and over again. We have been on this for six months and you guys continue to ignore that and continue to bring up the investigation. All we're asking is that we have the same level of look into the potential that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower.

RADDATZ: If there was an order, there would have to be probable cause shown before it was granted. Evidence of wrongdoing. So, isn't the President by saying, “this, indeed, happened,” confirming that the investigation had enough evidence to get a FISA order?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, I'm not sure if they can create wrongdoing. They've certainly been trying to make the case for it. The FBI has said this is B.S. The House Intelligence chair has said there's no evidence of it. But I don't know that that -- would indicate that intelligence services wouldn't have attempted to see if there was something at that point in October.

RADDATZ: And a FISA wiretap is highly classified information. Why is it acceptable for the President to just tweet something like that out?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don't think he's tweeting out classified information. He's talking about could this have happened? Did this happen. These are report that you guys in the media have been reporting.

RADDATZ: Once again, he said it did happen.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Everybody acts like President Trump is the one that came up with the idea and threw it out there. There are multiple news outlets that have reported this. And all we're asking is that we get the same level of look into the Obama administration and the potential that they had for a complete abuse of power that they've been claiming that we’ve done over the last six months and time and time again, it's been said, there's no evidence there was wrong doing. The FBI says this is B.S. Yet you guys continue to hammer and hammer some false idea and false narrative that there's something there when frankly, there just isn't.

RADDATZ: I just want to say Donald Trump started this on Saturday morning.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro