CNN has taken quite a bit of grief the last two days with Donald Trump, Sean Spicer, and others on the Trump team, bashing the news network over a report they deemed to be “fake news.” CNN (unlike Buzzfeed) said Trump was briefed on unsubstantiated claims put forward in a report that was not put together by the intelligence community, but nonetheless, they revealed as what kind of information can quickly circulate.
Trump supporters were livid, accusing CNN of “opening the door” for Buzzfeed to publish the memos themselves. CNN said they were merely reporting what they were told by their sources. The next morning NBC ran a story that contradicted the CNN story and naturally, Trump supporters were all over it, claiming (with zero knowledge) the NBC report was correct and CNN was wrong. Earlier today in a press released, DNI chief, James Clapper confirmed the CNN report by saying Trump was in fact, made aware of the information in a two-page addendum to the report the IC put together.
Now, Vice President Joe Biden has given more weight to CNN’s original report as he confirms he and President Obama were also briefed on the two-page addendum:
Vice President Joe Biden confirmed Thursday that he and President Barack Obama were briefed last week by intelligence officials on unsubstantiated claims that Russia may have compromising information on President-elect Donald Trump.
CNN first reported that the nation’s top intelligence chiefs provided both the President and President-elect a two-page written synopsis of the claims, which came from a 35-page report compiled by a former British intelligence operative based on Russian sources. Intelligence agencies appended a two-page summary of the unverified allegations to documents prepared for the briefing on Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Biden’s office confirmed that the vice president said he and Obama were briefed about the claims but said that neither Biden nor Obama asked for more information about them. Biden’s office also said the vice president told reporters that intelligence leaders felt obligated to tell Obama because they were planning on informing Trump. Biden also said he read the entire 35-page report.
The NBC report did nothing to help but merely confirmed the biases of others. It’s the reason why the believed the NBC report and not the CNN report. I didn’t give weight to either story except to say that what CNN reported and what Buzzfeed reported were two entirely separate things.
In cases like this, the truth eventually comes out.
Will all the of the Trump people were screaming at Jake Tapper now call out NBC for reporting “fake news?” They shouldn’t. NBC merely got the story wrong. CNN got the story right. That sometimes happens in journalism. Don’t be so quick to accuse reporters of bad faith.
Sometimes, they just get it wrong.