Want to torpedo a political nomination? Or get the president to see an issue your way?
Well if you're a White House aide, the path forward is clear: give the president an article that corroborates your objective. According to a report from Politico, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus recently warned aides at a staff meeting that they better quit secretly giving President Trump articles.
Days before Priebus' warning, K.T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser, gave the president two printouts of Time magazine covers, one from 2008 and one from the 1970s. The cover from 2008 warned about the dangers of climate change while the one from the '70s predicted an oncoming ice age.
The juxtaposition of the two covers was supposedly meant to highlight inconsistencies in climate science.
There was just one problem.
The cover from the 1970s was part of an internet hoax that had circulated for years.
Once White House staffers realized this, it became a race to track the president down and tell him not to speak about or tweet about the covers before it was too late.
The episode illustrates the dangers of aides presenting articles to Trump. Aides have been known to slip Trump an opportune article to undermine another staffer or a potential appointee, or get him riled up, according to Politico.
The fraudulent cover still makes its way around social media.