CNN is facing a social media backlash for putting out a false story earlier today that the Trump campaign, including Donald Trump Jr., supposedly was offered early access to a WikiLeaks hack of the Democratic National Committee emails. According to a CNN exclusive that several other news organizations also picked up, someone sent Trump Jr. and others an email that offered a decryption key and a link for the purposes of a sneak peek into the WikiLeaks data.
It turns out, however, that the CNN exclusive was a non-story in that the random email was dated September 14, 2016, not September 4 as CNN originally claimed. WikiLeaks had already released the DNC leaks into the public domain on September 13, the day before, so the CNN exclusive, which it promoted for hours on end, was actually insignificant.
Trump Jr. never responded to the email anyway, the Washington Post reported.
“The message was one of thousands turned over to the House Intelligence Committee and others investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, emails that included spam and junk emails. Trump Jr. was asked about the email Wednesday, when he spent about seven hours behind closed doors answering questions from members of the committee.”
CNN later clarified the story (see clip below), although the original version is still being shared across the internet. CNN added that none of its staff journalists will be subject to discipline because the report supposedly had two unnamed sources behind it.
“In a humiliating move, CNN decided to have one of the authors of the debunked story go on air to ‘correct’ his reporting…Neither CNN or the reporter apologized for the error,” The Daily Caller observed.
The New York Times explained that the scoop turned out to be another CNN miscue; for Trump supporters, it was another example as they see it of how the relentlessly negative mainstream media will breathlessly report virtually anti-Trump story or portray Trump-related news in the worst possible light without proper due diligence or context.
“The correction undercut the main thrust of CNN’s story, which had been seized on by critics of President Trump as evidence of coordination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. It was also yet another prominent reporting error at a time when news organizations are confronting a skeptical public, and a president who delights in attacking the media as ‘fake news’…Several news outlets, including Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, also inaccurately reported this week that Deutsche Bank had received a subpoena from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for President Trump’s financial records.”
President Trump has famously labeled CNN very fake news.
You may recall that back in June, three CNN journalists lost their jobs after the news network published and then retracted a story on its website that a member of the Trump transition team was linked to a Russian investment fund that was under investigation by the U.S. Senate. As a result of that inaccurate reporting, CNN supposedly implemented a policy requiring approval from high-level executives for any Russia-related content.
After CNN’s latest blunder, Donald Trump Jr. himself, along with many others, called out CNN on Twitter, where the hashtag #ThingsITrustMoreThanCNN is currently trending.
Maybe try reaching out to someone other than the liberals in the room who run to you breaking their agreed upon confidentiality to create their narrative and maybe you will get facts... Otherwise you nailed it. #fakenews https://t.co/bZBjqCEW0p— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 8, 2017
I know you can’t help but spread #fakenews @cnn, but now that you know the truth you should have the decency to retract the false story, make the correction, take down the bs tweet, and apologize to the 2 or 3 people that still believe you to be credible #yourewelcome https://t.co/bjL6mSdaii— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 8, 2017
Last week, ABC News incorrectly reported that then-candidate Trump asked Gen. Michael Flynn to contact the Russians, resulting in correspondent Brian Ross being put on a one-month unpaid suspension and being banned from covering stories about President Trump moving forward. The contact actually occurred after the election when Trump was the president-elect, and this form of post-election outreach is customary in international diplomacy and was routine in prior incoming administrations as well.
CNN's initial reporting of the date on an email sent to members of the Trump campaign about Wikileaks documents, which was confirmed by two sources to CNN, was incorrect. We have updated our story to include the correct date, and present the proper context for the timing of email— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) December 8, 2017
Between this and Brian Ross' Flynn mistake, the mainstream media is doing a great job of bolstering Trump's claims about fake news.— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) December 8, 2017
It's the most obvious thing to say, but reporters need to SLOW DOWN. Being right is more important than being first. https://t.co/nEt4EdrGyw
A CNN spokeswoman says there will not be disciplinary action in this case because, unlike with Brian Ross/ABC, @MKRaju followed the editorial standards process. Multiple sources provided him with incorrect info.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 8, 2017
So CNN misreported the date of the Wikileaks email that @DonaldJTrumpJr received, meaning that the entire point of the story --— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) December 8, 2017
that the campaign might have gotten advance warning of the leaks -- is wrong. Wow. https://t.co/oiXngwHZAq
CNN still refuses to address the huge, glaring obvious question: how did "multiple sources" all innocently get the same date on the same email wrong? And how/why did this also happen to MSNBC? What's the explanation for that?? https://t.co/izlKdpeHbR pic.twitter.com/AsZaupZ3Ph— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 9, 2017
MORE: The September email to Donald Trump Jr. highlighted information that was already public https://t.co/Xc2n7LiCUp
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 8, 2017
Between the hours of 8 am and 1:30 pm, @CNN gave a misreported story about @DonaldJTrumpJr close to an hour of coverage, touted 5 breaking news banners, led with the story 3 times, and brought on over a dozen guests to discuss.— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) December 8, 2017
Still no correction. https://t.co/oUC4v66eJh
Again? In just a few days it has been ABC,and Reuters..and now this! (from @axios ) If we in the media are going to fight the criticism of fake news, we have to stop these mistakes. These hurt everyone in the news business. Where is news management? pic.twitter.com/cHoXGqNzcG
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) December 8, 2017
CNN tonight also publicized a New York Times story that that FBI warned Hope Hicks, who is in the president’s inner circle, that Russian operatives were repeatedly trying to contact her via email during the transition. Deep into the piece, the Times admits the following.
“In some ways, the Russian outreach to Ms. Hicks undercuts the idea that the Russian government had established deep ties to the Trump campaign before the election. If it had, Russian officials might have found a better entree to the White House than unprompted emails to Ms. Hicks.”
Last month, Donald Trump Jr. called out Newsweek magazine for claiming that his dad and murderer Charles Manson used similar language to attract followers. Newsweek subsequently edited the article to remove all references to the president along with an editor’s note that the original version failed to meet the publication’s editorial standards.
Added: Donald Trump Jr. and Sr. continue to weigh in on the CNN mishap.
Strange that the #fakenews media never gets stories wrong in favor of Trump. It’s almost like they do it on purpose.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 9, 2017
I won’t hold my breath for an apology, or for you to call out your puppet masters on the left that fed you BS knowing you would gleefully run with it without ever checking the other side. Apparently it was just too good a scoop for you to actually do your job. You got played https://t.co/vnHQFd9i16— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 9, 2017
The irony of CNN having a show called “Reliable Sources” is laughable to begin with, but especially so this week. #fakenews— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 10, 2017
Does anyone actually believe that CNN’s democratic sources, who had all the info, were not deliberately trying to hide facts that would turn a non-story into their exact BS narrative? No one is that naive!!! I’m sure they wouldn’t lie to cover their prominent source???? https://t.co/HEMuz9NRz3— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 9, 2017
Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday. They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his “mistake”). Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
CNN’S slogan is CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS. Everyone knows this is not true, that this could, in fact, be a fraud on the American Public. There are many outlets that are far more trusted than Fake News CNN. Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017