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 BuzzFeed anonymous sourcing

8/8/2016: Anti-Trump Republican Launching Independent Presidential Bid

Key players in GOP’s anti-Trump movement are preparing to launch an independent presidential campaign for Evan McMullin — a CIA veteran and the chief policy director of the House Republican conference — sources close to the effort told BuzzFeed News.

6/30/2016: Donald Trump Listened In On Phone Lines At Mar-A-Lago

At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump had a telephone console installed in his bedroom that acted like a switchboard, connecting to every phone extension on the estate, according to six former workers. Several of them said he used that console to eavesdrop on calls involving staff.

6/26/2016: Nicola Sturgeon Says Scotland Could Veto Brexit


However, two senior Scottish government sources backed up Sturgeon’s comments, with one saying: “Sarah has the wrong end of the stick. We think [Brexit] requires LCM [the Scottish government’s consent] and we obviously wouldn’t vote for something that removed Scotland from the EU – but that would be for Scotland, not to block England.

“It would be up for Westminster how they handle that.”

5/25/2016: Twitter Disbands Commerce Team, Ceases Product Development On “Buy” Button

“People are not buying on social media right now. They are still buying, for the most part, on mobile web,” a source familiar with Twitter’s commerce team’s inner workings told BuzzFeed News. “There’s still an active ‘Buy Now’ card at Twitter, but no one’s putting any work into it. There’s no new product development happening.”

3/18/2016: How Donald Trump Bent Television To His Will

Two network sources also confirmed the unprecedented control the television networks have surrendered to Trump in a series of private negotiations, allowing him to dictate specific details about placement of cameras at his event, to ensure coverage consists primarily of a single shot of his face.

2/5/2016: Twitter To Introduce Algorithmic Timeline As Soon As Next Week

Say hello to a brand new Twitter. The company is planning to introduce an algorithmic timeline as soon as next week, BuzzFeed News has learned.

No source = anonymous source

7/30/2015: Apple will debut new Apple TV in September

Now, as Apple heads toward its annual fall event, the successor to its superannuated set-top box is once again top of mind and at last headed to market — and for real this time.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell BuzzFeed News that the company intends to announce its next-generation Apple TV in September, at the same event at which it typically unveils its new iPhones.

Status: Unverified

5/20/2015: After sanctions, Cisco altered sales records in Russia

After Western sanctions began shutting down sales of high-tech internet equipment to Russia’s military and security forces, employees at technology giant Cisco Systems Inc. altered sales records and booked deals under a false customer name, according to internal company documents. The intent, according to a confidential source with deep knowledge of Cisco’s Moscow operations, was to dodge the sanctions by masking the true customers behind more innocuous-sounding straw buyers.

In at least one case, the source said, Cisco employees succeeded in actually providing equipment — including sophisticated internet switches — to the feared FSB, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

Status: Unverified

5/20/2015: Clinton super PAC executive director exits amid shake-up

Buffy Wicks, a leading Democratic operative and former senior aide to Barack Obama, will leave her post as executive director of Priorities USA Action, the super PAC working to raise millions in support of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Wicks, now in the process of arranging her exit from Priorities, is expected to stay inside the larger Clinton operation, three sources familiar with the move said.

Status: Confirmed by “a Clinton aide.”

5/8/2015: Searching for signs of life at TechCrunch Disrupt

The fear also keeps people from criticizing Disrupt itself, at least not on the record. When I asked what he thought of Disrupt’s spectacle, one entrepreneur, well-schooled in reporter-speak, gave me two answers: one on the record, the other on background, without attribution.

On the record: “Great for New York. Great for the startup scene. TechCrunch is great and it’s good coverage for startups. You see great startups and others that aren’t so impressive. Like copycats. But all of a sudden you’ll get some real major ones. It’s not Silicon Valley but it’s got huge attendance. It’s a step forward.”

On background: “You see a lot of startups here that are launching at Disrupt and they’re not even funded. And to spend money on this — I just don’t think it’s the wisest thing. Again, with investors walking by — there are a hundred booths there. He’s walking by. How do you capture the attention? There are very few people who get to captivate the interest of investors. Betting on that off-chance is not a smart decision.”

Status: Unverified

4/9/2015: Clinton staffers meet with diversity hiring group

Top staffers for Hillary Clinton met with members of Inclusv, a diversity hiring effort campaign, in New York on Wednesday to discuss hiring for a wide range of positions in the expected Clinton campaign, sources familiar with the meeting confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Status: Unverified

4/5/2015: New Apple TV will not support 4K video streaming

When Apple’s next-generation Apple TV finally arrives at market later this year, it will bring a groaning board of new features to the company’s dusty set-top box — as BuzzFeed News first reported. But it will lack one that some Apple watchers had presumed inevitable: 4K video capability.

Sources in position to know tell BuzzFeed News that the 4th generation Apple TV will not support 4K video — a newer high-definition video resolution that delivers a more detailed, immersive picture. “4K is great, but it’s still in its infancy,” said one source familiar with Apple’s thinking.

Status: Unverified

3/29/2015: Harry Reid’s big, complicated Latino legacy won’t end when his career does

Two sources with knowledge of Reid’s plans told BuzzFeed News that even if Reid’s actual retirement was a surprise, his interest in an eventual Cortez Masto candidacy was not. “They really want her in the race, they feel strongly they think she can win. It’s her decision to make but they completely and utterly support her,” one said.

“[Reid] really likes her,” another added. “He has considered her for a long time, she’s a smart individual and somebody that can carry his legacy.”

Status: Unverified

3/23/2015: Latino activists sign on to draft Warren letter calling for contested Democratic primary

Sources with knowledge of outreach by MoveOn.org said other Latino organizations have been approached and are mulling joining the effort, with the announcement of another Latino leader in the pipeline soon.

Status: Unverified

3/20/2015: Here comes the long awaited new Apple TV

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the subscription internet TV service Apple’s been trying to get off the ground since 2009 appears to be finally headed to market. And now sources familiar with the company’s plans tell BuzzFeed News that a successor to its dusty and recently discounted Apple TV set top box is headed to market as well. Apple intends to show the device off at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in June along with a long-awaited App Store and a software development kit to help developers populate it.

Status: Unverified

1/30/2015: Ready For Hillary Ramps Up Its Outreach To Faith Leaders

It went much better than another recent meeting between Democratic leadership and black clergy, sources say.

At least three unnamed sources in this story.

Status: Still unverified