Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has teed off against the use of anonymous sources, but he didn't really seem to mind using them when calling aspects of President Obama's life and presidency -- including his birthplace -- into question years ago.
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In the past 24 hours, Trump, under fire for doubling down on his attacks against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, railed on Twitter about the media's use of anonymous sources.
Anytime you see a story about me or my campaign saying "sources said," DO NOT believe it. There are no sources, they are just made up lies!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
Remember, don't believe "sources said" by the VERY dishonest media. If they don't name the sources, the sources don't exist.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
But Trump, who regularly trades in rumor and innuendo, touted anonymous sources in a very prominent way several years ago when he was pushing the "birther" theory against the president and to attack him on other fronts.
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office & told me that @BarackObama applied to Occidental as a foreign student--think about it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama bought his house with the help of Tony Rezko.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
A 'confidential source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama has added over $6T to the new national debt & ruined US credit.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2012
Interestingly, the tweet about the president's birth certificate being a "fraud" came more than a year after Obama took the extraordinary step of releasing his long-form document from the state of Hawaii.
Trump pushed the birther theory for years -- even claiming to send investigators to Hawaii -- only backing down on Sept. 16, 2016.
"President Barack Obama was born in the United States period," he said that day. The admission came just a day after an interview with the Washington Post in which he refused to acknowledge the president's natural-born citizenship.
Trump is also fond of the suggestive "many people are saying" or "people are saying."
For instance, on Aug. 8, he tweeted:
Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton's hacked emails.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2016
Factcheck.org, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization, called the claim "baseless."
"Donald Trump speculates on Twitter that Shahram Amiri — an Iranian nuclear scientist who defected to the U.S. and reportedly became a CIA spy — was executed in Iran recently “because of Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails.” There is no evidence of that," the organization said. "To the contrary, it had been widely reported for years that Amiri was a CIA informant."