Sep 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg: "I stand by my reporting"

The Atlantic's editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg told CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday that he expects "more confirmation and new pieces of information" to come out in the coming days and weeks that will corroborate his story about alleged incendiary comments President Trump made about the military.

The big picture: Reporters from the AP, Washington Post and Fox News are among those who have confirmed aspects of Goldberg's story, which has been vehemently denied by the White House. The story alleges, among other things, that Trump attacked the intelligence of soldiers who died in war, calling them "suckers" and "losers."

What he's saying: Goldberg addressed his use of anonymous sources, which has come under criticism from the president and others who believe that officials should not be allowed to launch bombshell allegations under the cloak of anonymity, especially in the midst of an election campaign.

  • "I felt confident publishing it because I had multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of the president's views and comments," Goldberg said. "That's the only reason to publish anything."
  • "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," he continued.
  • "Most of us, most of the time, don't rely on anonymous sourcing for most things because there are difficulties there. 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."

Go deeper: Trump slams Fox News reporter who confirmed parts of Atlantic story

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