The Washington Post is one of the liberal champions of mainstream media. Jeff Bezos’ “news” outlet has been one of the biggest media opponents to the Republican Party in general and President Trump in particular. When they’re calling out a fake news post by CNN and exposing the false accusations they made, it demonstrates just how far CNN has strayed from the bounds of journalistic and ethical standards.
Here’s the article on CNN that WaPo is debunking followed by a screenshot of the original post since they’ll likely change it later:
Candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents, according to an email provided to congressional investigators.
The September 4 email was sent during the final stretch of the 2016 presidential race — on the same day that Trump Jr. first tweeted about WikiLeaks and Clinton.
“WIKILEAKS: Hillary Clinton Sent THOUSANDS of Classified Cables Marked “(C)” for Confidential,” he tweeted, sharing a story from the Gateway Pundit, a conservative, pro-Trump website.
The problem with the story, according to WaPo, is a single digit. CNN claims Donald Trump Jr. received an email on December 4, 2016, granting him access to the WikiLeaks document. WaPo confirmed that the email was sent December 14 instead. This is important because the later date means Trump Jr. did not have access to the WikiLeaks document before they were released to the public.
CNN presented the timing of Trump Jr.’s tweet as a possible reason to doubt his claim that he never even saw the email.
The later email date reported by The Post means that Trump Jr.’s first tweet about WikiLeaks could not possibly have been prompted by the email, since the president’s eldest son did not receive the message until 10 days after tweeting.
More important, the later date means that the email did not provide the Trump campaign with early access to WikiLeaks documents, after all. The DNC files shared with Trump Jr. via a link and a “decryption key” on Sept. 14, 2016, had been posted online and advertised on Twitter by WikiLeaks the day before. And the Powell files had been posted online hours before Trump Jr. received the email from a person who identified himself as Michael J. Erickson.
As The Post’s Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger noted in their report on the correct date of the email, “the writer may have simply been flagging information that was already widely available.”
The President has been calling out fake news since his run for the White House began. Mainstream media screams that they don’t participate in fake news, then repeatedly gets caught doing so. In this digital age with information moving so quickly, it’s imperative that journalists do what they can to report accurately instead of just attempting to be the first to report it. Mistakes like these are what make the general public so skeptical.