Trump staves off the 25th Amendment chatter as Biden leads nationally by 14%. Lots of Twitter acting like diagnosticians, as disinformation and spin rule the day.
And then there’s the Typhoid Trump parade to convince his cult followers he’s not that sick.
Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief of aviation publication The Air Current, took a closer look at data embedded in the photos shared by the White House, and found they were taken just 10 minutes apart but showed the president working in two different places.
“The photos released by the WH tonight of the president working at Walter Reed were taken 10 minutes apart at 5:25:39 pm and 5:35:40 pm ET Saturday, according to the EXIF data embedded in both AP wire postings that were shared by the White House this evening,” he said.
White House reporter Andrew Feinberg also examined the photos and upon zooming into one of them, found that Mr Trump “appears to be signing his name to a blank sheet of paper”.
Trump was angry with Meadows about his Saturday afternoon comments indicating the president was quite sick and has asked aides to reassure the public by offering rosy depictions of his condition, a senior administration official said.
Meadows has been the only White House aide with Trump, giving him almost total control of the message.
The comments from the president’s top aide prompted finger-pointing in the West Wing. Some White House officials said they were not pleased with Meadows for briefing reporters anonymously about Trump’s health.
Reporters raced to clarify the disparity in messages. “I do not know where this quote came from, and why this anonymous person has the authority to contradict the president’s doctors,” tweeted Olivia Nuzzi, New York magazine’s White House reporter, who was at the briefing.
But other reporters who were not bound by the original off-the-record agreement were able to identify him: It was Meadows, as the Associated Press soon reported. Nuzzi tweeted a video showing Meadows briefing reporters after the news conferences.
“It was maddening to see the White House doctor come out and refuse to answer basic questions and be clearly spinning,” said Jonathan Karl, the chief Washington correspondent for ABC News, who watched the news conference from home. “And then to see the background quote come out that effectively was diametrically opposed to what the doctor had just said on camera — this is the frustration of covering this White House. You can really take almost nothing that is on the record at face value.”Karl cited an earlier situation when a White House official, Matt Pottinger, briefed reporters under the condition that they only attribute his comments to a “senior administration official” — only to hear Trump later deny Pottinger’s account and accuse the reporter of fabricating the source.
Hence, Karl’s new rule: “If someone lies to you off the record,” he said, “it is no longer off the record.”