The Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg visited CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday to talk about the recent reporting the magazine did on Donald Trump, which has stirred controversy after the publication claimed Trump called Americans war veterans who died in battle “losers” and “suckers”.
Since the article came out, the White House has overwhelmingly denied these claims. During Reliable Sources, Goldberg unpacked the article and his use of anonymous sources.
“I spent a lot of my career covering dictatorships in the Middle East and so, I’m — I’m familiar with this kind of discourse. It is a threat. It is meant to intimidate,” said Goldberg in regards to the article. “I would only say we are neither failing nor radical left, and I would say, and I’m not speaking for the ownership or the management of the company, I would say that we have excellent owners who value editorial independence and integrity. And I would just say that we are not going to be intimidated by the president of the United States. We’re going to do our jobs and I think that is true for a large number of outlets.”
Outlets including Associated Press and The Washington Post have confirmed the reporting and Goldberg added that he fully expects more to come out about this and that new pieces of information are expected to come out in the forthcoming weeks.
In regards to his anonymous sources for the article, Goldberg said: “The formula is simple. What you do is you have to say, does the public’s right to know or need to know a particular piece of information outweigh the morally complicated and ambiguous qualities of anonymous sourcing. And so, most of us, most of the time, don’t rely on anonymous sourcing for most things because there are difficulties there.”
He added, “But in this climate, with information that we judge the voters to need, we are going to use anonymous sources because we think the public has a right to know. Especially when you have four or five or six sources, primary sources, corroborating sources telling you the same thing.”
Watch the Goldberg’s interview where he talks Trump, elaborates on the reporting and his anonymous sources on Reliable Sources here.