Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein criticized the use of anonymous sources in news stories — casting doubt on recent reports about special counsel Robert Mueller's expanding probe into the Trump campaign and Russia, Politico reported.
"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials,' particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated," Rosenstein said.
"Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations."
Rosenstein did not mention any specific report, but his comments came after The Washington Post reported President Donald Trump is the subject of an obstruction of justice probe, Politico noted.
The New York Times published a similar story.
And The Post also reported that Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser.
Mueller's office did not comment on any of the stories.
"The special counsel's office has undertaken stringent controls to prohibit unauthorized disclosures that deal severely with any member who engages in this conduct," spokesman Peter Carr said.
Politico said Rosenstein's comments caught many in Washington by surprise, partly because he didn't specify the news reports.
The website noted Trump also has been critical of recent stories in the media.
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