On Friday, CNN peddled an incorrect report about Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Wikileaks. They allege that the then-presidential candidate, his son, and other folks within their inner circle received an email that contained a decryption key to a trove of documents from Wikileaks. The problem was this email was already made public—and the date was wrong. Here’s the correction:
Correction: This story has been corrected to say the date of the email was September 14, 2016, not September 4, 2016. The story also changed the headline and removed a tweet from Donald Trump Jr., who posted a message about WikiLeaks on September 4, 2016.
Here’s The Washington Post cleaning up CNN’s mess:
A 2016 email sent to candidate Donald Trump and top aides pointed the campaign to hacked documents from the Democratic National Committee that had already been made public by the group WikiLeaks a day earlier.
The email — sent the afternoon of Sept. 14, 2016 — noted that “Wikileaks has uploaded another (huge 678 mb) archive of files from the DNC” and included a link and a “decryption key,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Post.
The writer, who said his name was Michael J. Erickson and described himself as the president of an aviation management company, sent the message to the then-Republican nominee as well as his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and other top advisers.
The day before, WikiLeaks had tweeted links to what the group said was 678.4 megabytes of DNC documents.
Yet, that wasn’t the only trip up. ABC News’ Brian Ross recently reported that candidate Donald Trump ordered former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians during the 2016 campaign. Nope—he was instructed after Trump won the election. And there is nothing unusual about President-elect Donald Trump ordering someone who would be on his national security team from laying down a diplomatic groundwork for an incoming administration. Ross was suspended without pay for four weeks after this disastrous December 1 story and will be taken off any assignments relating to President Trump. Ross’ report also tanked the markets. Axios also reported on the recent Trump-Russia trip ups from the news media. There were three of them, two we already mentioned [emphasis mine]:
Flynn's testimony: Last Friday, ABC News reported that former national security advisor Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that President Trump, while still a candidate, directed him to contact Russian officials. But later in the day, the network issued a "clarification" that the direction came when Trump was president-elect. That changed the impact of the story entirely as it's a common occurrence for presidential transition teams to reach out to foreign governments.
Deutsche Bank subpoena: Reuters and Bloomberg both reported on Tuesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on accounts relating to President Trump and his family members — seemingly confirming that Mueller had expanded his probe to investigate the president's financial dealings. The WSJ defused that bombshell in a follow-up report stating that the subpoenas actually dealt with "people or entities close to Mr. Trump."
WikiLeaks emails: CNN reported this morning that senior Trump campaign officials, including Trump himself, received an email from an unknown sender on September 4, 2016 that linked them to what could have been unreleased WikiLeaks documents. WaPo issued their own report later in the afternoon that the email was actually sent on September 14 — and linked to a trove of documents that WikiLeaks had publicly released a day earlier.
Yeah, the news media is having some trouble as we’re closing out 2017.