SECRET INGREDIENT

Report: Trump Aides Slip Him Fake News

For President Trump, who rarely browses internet news sites on his own, staffers who choose which printed-out articles land on his desk hold a very real power. According to a new Politico report, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was forced to recently issue a stern warning against slipping news to Trump that hasn’t been approved, because aides had taken to using a new story to change his opinion one way or another. Staffers reportedly understand that such moves can affect his opinion on appointments, staffing, and even policy. In at least one case, a hoax believed slipped to Trump by Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland sent him on a rampage about media hypocrisy. In late February, someone gave Trump an article from Chuck Johnson’s GotNews, which accused Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh—without evidence—of being “the source behind a bunch of leaks” in the West Wing. Johnson, who has said he tracks the IP addresses of visitors to his website, told Politico: “I can tell you unequivocally that the story was shared all around the White House.” Walsh has since left the White House. “They have this system in place to get things on his desk now,” one White House official said. “I’m not sure anyone follows it.”