First lady Melania gave a rare outspoken criticism Thursday by calling out the White House official who attacked President Trump anonymously in print, accusing the person of subversion.
Her statement addressed the anonymous writer of the New York Times op-ed directly: “You are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.”
She criticized the media’s use of anonymous sources.
“If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves,” Mrs. Trump said in the statement.
The president also questioned the legitimacy and existence of the source when the news broke. He demanded that the Times reveal the author’s identity.
The use of anonymous sources has been a prominent source of ire for Mr. Trump, who said any article that uses one should be considered fiction.
Mrs. Trump said freedom of speech “is an important pillar of our nation’s founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy.”
“The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible,” the first lady said. “Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today’s news. People with no names are writing our nation’s history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences. If the person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves.”
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