Earlier this week, two Politico reporters wrote an article claiming President Donald Trump acted “truly bizarre” during a visit to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, last April.
The Politico article, like so many “news” stories in the Trump era, was based on anonymous “sources” either “briefed on” or “familiar with” the visit. No one who was actually present had anything to say, apparently.
The article claimed that Trump was “disinterested” in learning about America’s first president, and that Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn “was desperately trying to get [Trump] interested in” the property, using terms that would appeal to Trump, such as telling him Washington bought property throughout Virginia.
Further, Trump — according to anonymous sources who weren’t there — allegedly pointed out flaws in the home and said he could build one better. He also apparently said Washington should have put his name on the house.
“If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Politico claimed Trump said. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”
The visit, which included Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, and French First Lady Brigitte Macron, was organized by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. After the Politico article was published, the association released a statement denying its premise:
Mount Vernon has a firm, long-standing policy of not commenting on the details of high-profile visits to the home of George Washington. However, we believe in the importance of ensuring that reports about events that take place at Mount Vernon are accurate. As such, we are concerned that the third-party accounts of the Trump-Macron visit released by several media outlets today do not correctly reflect the events that transpired nearly a year ago.
The statement continued, saying Bradburn and Regent Sarah Coulson conducted the tour and that “all parties were interested and engaged in the story of George Washington and his beloved home.” The statement said the group discussed many issues, including real estate and business dealings, that each party found interesting.
Both Trump and Macron, according to the statement, asked questions “with curiosity and respect.”
“Comments pulled from sources who were not present for the tour do not properly convey the tone and context in which they were delivered,” the statement said.
Politico included the statement at the bottom of its article, but there is no editor’s note and the story’s central premise remains. As with many articles regarding Trump, the story is written from the angle pushed by the anonymous sources, while the only on-the-record statement is included merely as a courtesy.
Oh, but don’t worry, Politico sought out a historian to bash the president based on what the anonymous sources said. True journalism.
As Matt Vespa of Townhall wrote in a post about the latest stumble from the left-wing media, “How many times will the liberal media have to endure getting hit in the face with their shoddy reporting about the Trump White House?”
The answer, sadly, is unknown. No matter how many times these publications post anti-Trump articles from anonymous sources that don’t pan out, they’ll keep doing it, because more people will read the original article than any of the corrections.