According to President Donald Trump, Matt Pottinger doesn’t exist. Which might come as news to Matt Pottinger.
In a morning tweet that was quickly debunked by reporters – and even a former colleague of Pottinger – Trump wrote today, “The Failing @nytimes quotes ‘a senior White House official,’ who doesn’t exist, as saying ‘even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.’ WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.”
Trump was referring to a Page 1 story in today’s New York Times about the possibility of a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Wrote the Times: “Twenty-four hours after announcing that he was calling off the meeting in a letter to Mr. Kim, the North’s leader, Mr. Trump told reporters that he and Mr. Kim might yet meet in Singapore on June 12.”
The Times story went on to say, as Trump correctly noted later, that “a senior White House official” told reporters on Thursday that a June 12 meeting would be “impossible.”
After Trump tweeted this morning that the White House official “doesn’t exist,” reporters who either attended or knew of Thursday’s formal, on-background briefing by National Security Council member Pottinger informed Trump of his existence. Journalist Yashar Ali even posted a recording of Pottinger’s press briefing.
Tweeted The Times‘ Nicholas Kristof:
Hollywood, too, joined the scrum:
As of 2 pm ET – three hours after Trump posted the Pottinger-denying missive, the tweet remained up. But just in case it doesn’t stay as extant as Pottinger himself, here’s a screen capture: