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The Frenzy Surrounding the Trump-Reinstatement Claim Shows No Lessons Have Been Learned

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A few days ago, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times made a bombastic claim involving Donald Trump. The anonymously sourced report alleged that the former president believes he will be reinstated in August as President of the United States.

Much of the right found the assertion to be questionable. How close is Haberman to Trump’s current inner circle, after all, which is much smaller than when he was in the White House? But another outlet is now claiming to have “confirmed” Haberman’s reporting. That comes via Charles Cooke at National Review.

Maggie Haberman is right. Donald Trump really does believe that he is going to be “reinstated” as president, alongside former senators Perdue and McSally. This isn’t “fake news” or the product of a garbled telegram. I can attest to it myself. https://t.co/brcfjUnT46

— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) June 3, 2021

Instead, they should have listened — because Haberman’s reporting was correct. I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this summer after “audits” of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed. I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact.

Now, I don’t think Cooke is making up sources. Cooke is not a Never Trump figure and I have no reason to believe he’s lying. Rather, it’s highly likely that sources did tell him what he’s reporting about Trump believing he’ll be reinstated in August. But again, how does that “confirm” the story? Is there a direct quote I’m missing? Is there a named source at least willing to stand behind their statement that I skipped over?

My problem here is not so much that someone would report something via anonymous sourcing, but rather that we are going

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