Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland had left printouts of two Time magazine covers on the Oval Office desk.
Fresh dismay, courtesy of today's Politico report on how President Donald Trump gets his fake news. One, supposedly from the 1970s, warned of a coming ice age; the other, from 2008, about surviving global warming, according to four White House officials familiar with the matter.
To make matters worse, Trump actually believed both covers, getting "lathered up about the media's hypocrisy", writes Shane Goldmacher, chief White House correspondent for Politico. On one of the most pressing, if not the single most critical, issues in the world, an unqualified deputy national security adviser directly provided the sitting president of the United States with bogus information, apparently meant to persuade Trump not to trust (a) climate science; and (b) major news organizations. The fake cover attempts to discredit scientists by suggesting scientists in the '70s were fixated on the idea of global cooling and are now hypocritically switching to argue the importance of fighting global warming.
White House aides often rely on the president's voracious appetite for news in order to push certain policy agendas, according to a Politico report.
Weeks later, Walsh was removed from her White House role and reassigned to an outside pro-Trump group.
It seems that even the White House staff can't resist the urge to fuck with Donald Trump. The cover, however, is fake - an internet hoax that photoshopped an actual Time cover from 2007.
The situation with McFarland, Politico reported, was just the latest example in a freakish pattern where well-placed staffers attempted to slip Trump - whose tweets have been known to be timed with the viewing or reading of various news reports - stories to manipulate his views on specific policy ideas or gain leverage in internal White House squabbles. Aside from tweeting, Trump uses the internet "minimally", says Politico, and a bulk of the stories he does read reportedly include positive praise to boost his ego.
"[Trump] never understood why McGahn and his team didn't meet with Sessions to try and talk him out of removing himself", the senior official said, noting that Trump saw the attorney general's recusal as a concession to Democrats who were trying to score political points by demanding it in the first place. Reportedly, the plan was nearly entirely influenced by a New York Times op-ed written by four economists who advised Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Although she was a Priebus ally, Steve Bannon, the president's chief strategist, told Politico that Walsh was a 'trusted friend and ally of the White House'.
"While the specific cover is fake, it is true that there was a period in the 70s when people were predicting an ice age".
In other words, White House aides, with a little too much access to the Leader of the Free World, see the boss as gullible - and by all appearances, they're correct.