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Rep. Banks Confronts NPR About Misleading 'Apology' About His Interview

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Last week I made note of an interview Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) did with NPR radio host Michel Martin regarding the whistleblower complaint against President Trump and the resulting impeachment inquiry spearheaded by the Democrats. Banks and Martin sparred over the veracity of the complaint's contents. Martin said the claims about Trump and quid pro quo sounded pretty legitimate, but Banks noted it was a secondhand account. And, he added, according to a New York Times report, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff had met with the whistleblower over a month ago and failed to tell the rest of the panel.

NPR panicked. Public Editor Elizabeth Jensen published a piece a day after the interview alerting readers to some apparent "errors" that weren't properly addressed. It was to her regret that Martin had not confronted Banks then and there about his claims regarding the chairman. For instance, Banks' claim that Schiff met early with the whistleblower was "misleading," Jensen argued. As such, she issued a few corrections in her piece entitled, "Setting the Record Straight."

Rep. Banks is irate over Jensen's "apology," as you can see by the following letter he sent to NPR Executive Editor Edith Chapin on Thursday.

"In fact, it is Mrs. Jensen's article that spreads misinformation," Banks writes. "The premise of the article, that I mischaracterized Adam Schiff's relationship with the whistleblower, is false. I request that NPR publish an article correcting her 'correction.'"

"If she had included my full remarks, well-informed readers would see that everything I said about Adam Schiff is true," he added. "And demonstrably so."

He includes evidence for his argument, including reporting from both the New York Times and the Washington Post.

His concluding statement, however, hits home the hardest. With NPR being taxpayer funded, Banks hopes the outlet will attempt to be more "even handed." If they do, he offers, perhaps more Republican lawmakers will actually accept their interview requests.

You can read the full letter below.

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