Tracking POLITICO anonymous sourcing

4/10/2017: White House on edge as 100-day judgment nears

“One hundred days is the marker, and we’ve got essentially two-and-a-half weeks to turn everything around,” said one White House official. “This is going to be a monumental task.”

3/26/2017: White House blame game intensifies as Trump agenda stalls

The ever-present focus on Priebus was on full display during a communications office meeting last month. Press secretary Sean Spicer, a Priebus lieutenant, became so visibly upset over a story about the chief of staff that some were startled by his reaction, according to a person familiar with the matter. (Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House spokeswoman, denied that happened, and dismissed the notion that the press office had taken extra steps to protect Priebus.)

2/26/2017: Sean Spicer targets own staff in leak crackdown

Last week, after Spicer became aware that information had leaked out of a planning meeting with about a dozen of his communications staffers, he reconvened the group in his office to express his frustration over the number of private conversations and meetings that were showing up in unflattering news stories, according to sources in the room.

Upon entering Spicer’s office for what one person briefed on the gathering described as “an emergency meeting,” staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a “phone check,” to prove they had nothing to hide.

1/31/2017: White House ices out CNN

The White House has refused to send its spokespeople or surrogates onto CNN shows, effectively icing out the network from on-air administration voices.

“We’re sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda,” said a White House official, acknowledging that CNN is not such a place, but adding that the ban is not permanent.

A CNN reporter, speaking on background, was more blunt: The White House is trying to punish the network and force down its ratings.

“They’re trying to cull CNN from the herd,” the reporter said.

1/22/2017: Trump struggles to shake his erratic campaign habits

One person who frequently talks to Trump said aides have to push back privately against his worst impulses in the White House, like the news conference idea, and have to control information that may infuriate him. He gets bored and likes to watch TV, this person said, so it is important to minimize that.

12/27/2016: ‘Profitable’ Washington Post adding more than five dozen journalists

Still, according to sources, we can figure that the Post newsroom will grow by more than 60 jobs — or 8 percent — an astounding number in this day and age. Such contrarian additions, of course, come at a time when newsroom staff reductions are the rule across daily journalism.

10/28/2016: The moments Pence’s plane flirted with disaster

POLITICO spoke with six people who were aboard the plane, granting anonymity in some cases so they could speak candidly.

10/8/2016: RNC lawyers look at options for replacing Trump

The Republican National Committee is taking the weekend to reevaluate its strategy while lawyers examine the legal hurdles to replacing Donald Trump with another nominee, according to Republicans in touch with the committee.

6/18/2016: Apple won’t aid GOP convention over Trump

Apple has told Republican leaders it will not provide funding or other support for the party’s 2016 presidential convention, as it’s done in the past, citing Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities.

Unlike Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which have all said they will provide some support to the GOP event in Cleveland next month, Apple decided against donating technology or cash to the effort, according to two sources familiar with the iPhone maker’s plans.

6/17/2016: Trump’s performance raises hard question: Who’d want to be his VP?

Ironically, the presumptive nominee’s own toxicity is making the job of finding a vice presidential nominee that much easier, because the short list is so short. Multiple high-level Republican sources said it is topped by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions a distant third and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin also in the mix.

5/31/2016: Shady accounting underpins Trump’s wealth

“I know Donald, I’ve known him a long time, and it gets under his skin if you start writing about the reasons he won’t disclose his returns,” said one prominent hedge fund manager who declined to be identified by name so as not to draw Trump’s ire. “You would see that he doesn’t have the money that he claims to have and he’s not paying much of anything in taxes.”

Another source is identified as “another ultra-high net worth individual who also reviewed the filings and declined to be identified by name to avoid Trump’s wrath.”

5/25/2016: Where the Obamas are living in D.C. after the White House

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will lease the 8,200-square-foot mansion owned by Joe Lockhart and Giovanna Gray after the first family leaves the White House in January, sources told POLITICO Playbook on Wednesday.

5/19/2016: Manafort to GOP aides: Trump’s ‘behavior can be changed’

Donald Trump’s newly empowered chief strategist sought to convince top GOP congressional officials on Capitol Hill that Trump can compete for the Latino vote, exploit Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses and become a Reagan-esque figure in the party, according to attendees and sources familiar with the meeting.

4/20/2016: Treasury’s Lew to announce Hamilton to stay on $10 bill

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday will announce a decision to keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the $10 bill and put leaders of the movement to give women the right to vote on the back of the bill, sources tell POLITICO.

Treasury will also announce that it plans to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, the sources said. There will also be changes to the $5 bill to depict civil rights era leaders.

4/9/2016: Political ‘Hunger Games’ roils Trump’s inner circle

Donald Trump’s campaign overhaul has inflamed an internecine struggle among three of his closest advisors, creating an atmosphere that multiple sources likened to a political “Hunger Games.”

According to interviews with more than a dozen people on or close to the campaign, staffers are increasingly dividing themselves into competing factions aligned with Trump’s three top officials …

Few named sources in this piece.

4/5/2015: Trump campaign in disarray

“Presidential campaigns are a team sport, and he doesn’t have that mentality,” one high-level GOP operative said. “That’s why they’re missing a lot of these opportunities that are passing them by. [Trump] might be a great quarterback, but every quarterback still needs a strong offensive line.”

3/21/2016: Marco Rubio rejected ‘unity ticket’ with Ted Cruz

It’s unclear whether Cruz’s campaign brass views a partnership with Rubio as realistic or quixotic. In Rubio’s orbit, according to three sources, it’s seen as an outright nonstarter — with Rubio telling his team he isn’t interested.

1/10/2016: Gabby Giffords to endorse Clinton amid gun feud with Sanders

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords will endorse Hillary Clinton, a person familiar with her plans confirmed.

8/14/2015: Joe Biden strategy for White House run taking shape

With his blessing, confidants to Vice President Joe Biden have begun strategizing about travel to early primary states and identified potential donors who could bankroll a campaign even as he remains undecided about whether to pull the trigger on a late-entry 2016 run for president.

The moves are a sign that after months of speculation, Biden is taking a few significant if small steps toward a presidential campaign, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

Status: Unverified

8/8/2015: Roger Stone quit, wasn’t fired by Donald Trump in campaign shakeup

Donald Trump made the surprising announcement Saturday afternoon that he was firing his top adviser, Roger Stone, but, hours before that, the political consultant’s friends told POLITICO that he was actually quitting.

Status: Unverified

6/28/2015: John Kasich to announce presidential bid July 21

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will jump into the crowded Republican presidential field on July 21 at the student union at his alma mater, The Ohio State University, in Columbus, advisers tell POLITICO.

Status: We’ll find out on July 21.

6/23/2015: Chris Christie to announce 2016 bid as early as next week

Chris Christie is in the final stages of preparing his 2016 presidential bid, with a formal announcement possible as soon as next week, according to several sources familiar with the discussions.

Status: We might find out next week.

6/9/2015: Behind the Jeb Bush campaign shake-up

“The leading cause of professional death in the Jeb Bush entourage is Sally’s inability to control you,” said a political operative who has worked with Bradshaw in the past. “But she is fiercely loyal to Jeb, the point of the spear, no nonsense.”

The changes at the top weren’t the only recent personnel moves. Matt Lira, a former National Republican Senatorial Committee official and one of the party’s top digital strategists, decided to depart recently under unclear circumstances. Lira, according to a source, felt that the Bush campaign was too focused on TV advertising and not enough on building a digital presence – which is what he’d planned to do. Bush’s team would only say that Lira had done some work for the political team, but it wouldn’t say what that was or why he left.

As in any campaign reshuffling, there are conflicting accounts about the level of squabbling and back-stabbing that took place, but most sources familiar with the campaign’s inner workings agreed that both Kochel and Bradshaw had different personalities that sometimes didn’t mix.

Status: Unverified

4/30/2015: Clinton Foundation in campaign tailspin

A handful of deep-pocketed donors are reconsidering their gifts to the $2 billion Clinton Foundation amid mounting questions about how it’s spending their money and suggestions of influence peddling, according to donors and others familiar with the foundation’s fundraising.

One major donor who contributed at least $500,000 to the foundation last year said a 2015 donation is less likely because of revelations about sloppy record-keeping and huge payments for travel and administrative costs.

“There are a lot of factors and the reputational is among them,” said the donor, who did not want to be identified discussing philanthropic plans that have not been finalized. “We had some questions about how the money was being spent — and that was long before the problems were in the press.”

Status: Unverified

4/20/2015: New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News strike deals for anti-Clinton research

Some Times reporters view the agreement as unusual, sources there said.

Status: Several unnamed sources in this story.

4/7/2015: Obama holds private meeting with journalists on Iran

President Barack Obama held a private meeting with reporters and liberal columnists at the White House on Monday to discuss the administration’s Iran policy, sources with knowledge of the meeting told the On Media blog.

Status: Unverified

4/6/2015: Rand Paul and the media: No love story

“He still has pretty thin skin when things get tough,” one reporter who has covered Paul for years and asked to speak on background said. “He doesn’t hide his displeasure and anger very well and that can do you in. He’s probably overly sensitive to some of the coverage.”

Another reporter for a major national paper wondered whether Paul, an ophthalmologist, suffers from what a lot of doctors experience, “a sense of never being questioned in their professional lives.”

Status: Unverified opinion/speculation

3/23/2015: Hillary turns down invite to secretive donor meeting

But other sources with knowledge of the plan characterize it as more aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the dream presidential candidate for many Democracy Alliance members, than with Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate. And for some liberals, it foreshadows an emerging rift that could hamper efforts up and down the ballot in 2016, and possibly lay the groundwork for a liberal version of the tea party, resulting in years of factionalism.

Sources say the club invited former Secretary of State Clinton to speak behind closed doors at the San Francisco meeting, which runs April 12-15 at the Four Seasons hotel. She declined, citing a scheduling conflict — perhaps not surprising, given that she’s expected to launch her presidential campaign around that time. Sources say the group might ask her to record a video message, but Clinton’s office had no knowledge of such plans.

Status: Unverified

3/18/2015: Hillary Clinton’s personal BlackBerry less secure

Some of the security deficit for Clinton’s BlackBerry can be attributed to predictable differences between an enterprise security system managed by a staff of IT professionals and a homebrew system like Clinton’s, administered by an individual or a small staff, people familiar with BlackBerry enterprise security told POLITICO.

Status: Unverified

3/9/2015: Feds interviewed Harry Reid for Robert Menendez probe

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid voluntarily interviewed with Justice Department lawyers and FBI agents a year ago as they were investigating Sen. Robert Menendez for possible corruption, according to sources familiar with the matter.

There is no indication that authorities believe Reid acted improperly or that he might be ensnared in the case: He hasn’t met with investigators since he spoke with them in the spring of 2014, or appeared before a grand jury looking into the allegations against Menendez, the sources said.

Status: Unverified

2/8/2015: The Brian Williams plan: Wait and hope

The plan was an effort to buy time for NBC, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Status: Unverified

Tracking CNN anonymous sourcing

6/28/2017: White House-media relations at breaking point as Spicer searches for replacement

“Here’s a good rule,” one of the senior administration officials told CNNMoney. “The people who are going out there in front of cameras saying they’re being considered — those people probably aren’t being considered.”

3/16/2017: Sean Hannity once pulled a gun on Juan Williams

Still, Hannity’s version of entertainment can go too far. Last year, after ending one of his many spirited on-air arguments with liberal contributor Juan Williams, Hannity pulled out a gun and pointed it directly at Williams, according to three sources with knowledge of the incident. He even turned on the laser sight, causing a red dot to bob around on Williams’ body. (Hannity was just showing off, the sources said, but the unforeseen off-camera antic clearly disturbed Williams and others on set.)

1/10/2017: Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

7/13/2016: Sean Hannity flew Gingrich to Trump meeting

Newt Gingrich, a finalist on Donald Trump’s vice presidential shortlist, flew to Indianapolis to meet with Trump on a private jet provided by Fox News host Sean Hannity, two sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

The Fox News host flew the former House speaker to Indianapolis early Wednesday morning to meet with the Republican nominee as he holds late-stage meetings with his VP finalists, the sources said.

6/15/2016: Grand jury to investigate Orlando shooter’s widow

Federal investigators digging for clues in the Orlando nightclub massacre are zeroing in on Noor Salman, the widow of gunman Omar Mateen.

What did Salman know of his plans and what might she have done to stop him? Authorities have been trying to pin her down after she apparently gave conflicting statements about what she knew of his intentions in the hours before the attack.

A U.S. attorney plans to bring evidence before a federal grand jury to determine whether charges will be brought, according to two law enforcement officials.

5/19/2016: EgyptAir Flight 804: Airline official says debris not from plane

Checks of the passenger manifest have so far resulted in no hits on terror watch lists, officials with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

4/19/2016: Under new management, Trump insiders ask what’s Corey Lewandowski’s role?

Asked by reporters as he was casting his ballot in the New York primary, Trump said the reorganization of his campaign is going “very smooth.”

But sources familiar with Trump’s staff shakeup tell CNN campaign manager Lewandowski’s role is no longer as clearly defined.

“They sort of have to figure out what Corey’s role is,” one campaign adviser said. “Corey has just never run a national campaign before.”

4/19/2016: Data from San Bernardino phone has helped in probe

Hacking the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone has produced data the FBI didn’t have before and has helped the investigators answer some remaining questions in the ongoing probe, U.S. law enforcement officials say.

4/7/2016: Mashable lays off staff in ‘strategic shift’ toward video

The staff was informed of the decision late Thursday morning, ten minutes after receiving an email requesting that they attend an impromptu meeting. Three sources who spoke with CNNMoney said they were caught totally unaware by the decision.

3/16/2016: Donald Trump’s dominance — and the late establishment effort to stop it

As Trump eyed Lewandowski, who would become his campaign manager, he skimmed through a list of the other strategists he’d interviewed, posing one key question: “Are you better than all these guys?”

“I believe I am,” Lewandowski replied, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation.

Trump asked Lewandowski if he was the best operative in New Hampshire, according to one source with knowledge of the conversation. He answered that he was the best in the country.

2/11/2016: ‘Sophisticated’ laptop bomb on Somali plane got through X-ray machine

The explosive device built into a laptop computer that detonated last week on a Somali passenger jet was “sophisticated” and got past X-ray machines at the Mogadishu airport, a source close to the investigation told CNN, raising concerns about security measures at airports across Africa and internationally.

10/20/2015: ESPN poised for big job cuts

ESPN is on the verge of mass layoffs.

The sports network will inform employees about the cutbacks on Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the plan said.

An ESPN representative declined to comment on Tuesday evening. Earlier in the day Bloomberg News reported that up to 350 employees, or 4.3% of its 8,000 positions, will be affected.

6/17/2015: Brian Williams expected to stay at NBC

Brian Williams is down, but not out.

NBC and Williams have come to a tentative agreement that will keep Williams at the network after his six-month suspension ends in August.

The decision, described by people with knowledge of the plan, ends months of speculation that Williams could leave NBC altogether.

Status: Unverified — we might find out Thursday.

6/9/2015: Authorities search farms, fields for signs of New York escaped killers

The cell phone of Clinton Correctional Facility employee Joyce Mitchell was used to call several people connected to prison break fugitive Richard Matt, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Tuesday.

Status: Unverified

5/19/2015: Biden’s son being treated at hospital

Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau, the former attorney general of Delaware, was being treated at a military hospital outside of Washington on Tuesday.

The vice president’s office said Beau Biden was receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Officials did not specify what he was being treated for, though a source with knowledge of the Biden family called the situation “serious.”

Status: Unverified

5/11/2015: U.S. officials: Assad losses in Syria could become ISIS gains

“The conflict in Syria remains highly fluid, despite recent gains claimed by opposition forces and extremist groups,” a U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge of the situation in Syria told CNN, noting that a number of factors were at play.

“Years of conflict — including defeats, victories and lessons learned — have hardened the various armed opposition groups and extremist elements involved in the Syrian conflict,” the official said. “It would appear that these groups, whether composed of locals or foreign fighters, are able to leverage their experience to field effective fighting forces and more advanced tactics.”

He added, “The regime’s apparent lack of success in recent offensives in southern Syria suggest moderate opposition forces may be more coherent — even if they are not yet able to compete directly with extremist elements.”

He pointed to three “emerging blocs of the opposition forces” — ISIS, other extremists and moderates — “that collectively pose a more direct threat to Assad compared to last year.”

Status: Unverified

5/6/2015: Baltimore police investigation doesn’t support some of prosecution’s charges

The Baltimore police investigation into the death of Freddie Gray doesn’t support some of the charges, including the most serious, filed by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, potentially allowing lawyers representing the police officers the opportunity to undercut the prosecution, according to officials briefed on the two probes.

Status: Unverified

4/9/2015:  No forced entry to Hatton Garden heist building, London police say

People with knowledge of the area have speculated that cash and jewels were probably taken. Some jewelry businesses reportedly stored some of their jewels in the boxes rather than leaving them in their stores over the holiday weekend.

Status: Unverified

4/5/2015: Public accounting near for Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner has decided not to take any disciplinary action against the editors or fact-checkers involved in the story’s production, according to people with direct knowledge of the decision.

Status: Partially confirmed — “A spokesperson for Wenner told CNN that Erdely will continue to write for Rolling Stone.”

3/9/2015: Clinton to take on email controversy soon

Hillary Clinton plans to address the controversy surrounding her use of a personal email on a private server while serving as America’s top diplomat “as soon as within 48 hours,” sources close to the former secretary of state say.

Status: Unverified

2/10/2015: NBC’s fact-checking of Brian Williams will be finished ‘sooner rather than later’

One NBC source said the process will be finished “sooner rather than later.”

Status: Unverified

3/23/2014: Source: Flight 370’s altitude dropped after sharp turn

Military radar tracking shows that the aircraft changed altitude after making a sharp turn over the South China Sea as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, a source close to the investigation into the missing flight told CNN. The plane flew as low as 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar, according to the source.

Status: Still unverified  

 

3/21/2014 : First on CNN: Intelligence from field has White House ‘very concerned’ about Russia invading more of Ukraine – possibly soon

Based on intelligence, Obama administration officials are very concerned the Russians are not being truthful when they say their forces near Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders are merely there for training exercises, sources tell CNN.

Status: Still unverified