The White House has tried to smear Alex Isenstadt, a reporter critical of the administration, by planting its own fake news story about him.
Politico published an article on Sunday, by reporters Alex Isenstadt and Annie Karni, on a meeting called by Press Secretary Sean Spicer to examine the electronic devices of White House aides for evidence of leaks. The article also claimed Spicer made deputy communications director Jessica Ditto cry when he by criticized her work at a staff meeting:
Spicer harshly criticized some of the work a more junior spokesperson, Jessica Ditto, had done, causing her to cry, according to two people familiar with the incident
Only a few hours after the Politico report broke, the Washington Examiner published a story about one of the article’s writers, Alex Isenstadt. The story quoted an anonymous source as saying that Isenstadt “appeared dismissive and laughed” at the death of Chief Ryan Owens, the Navy Seal killed in Yemen last month.
Politico editor Carrie Budoff Brown accused the Trump White House of planting this fake story in order to smear Isenstadt in revenge for the article he helped write:
Reporter writes story WH doesn’t like/disputes. WH anonymously plants false story about reporter. https://t.co/2ZGue3uxfz
— Carrie Budoff Brown (@cbudoffbrown) February 27, 2017