Trump accuses CNN of 'vicious and purposeful mistake' after inaccurate report
President Donald Trump lashed out at CNN Saturday, suggesting people should be fired over an inaccurate report that the network corrected Friday.
“Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday,” Trump claimed on Twitter. “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?”
CNN had reported on Friday morning that Trump campaign officials received an email containing a link to hacked Democratic National Committee documents obtained by WikiLeaks on Sep. 4, 2016, several days before they were released to the public. The network later acknowledged that the email was actually sent on Sep. 14, 2016, the day after WikiLeaks posted the documents.
Though the initial report suggested the campaign may have been secretly tipped off about the documents, the correspondence seemed less significant in the corrected timeline. Trump representatives dismissed the email as one of many unsolicited messages the campaign received.
According to CNN, Donald Trump Jr. was asked about the email during his appearance before the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday.
In his tweets Saturday, Trump likened the incident to an ABC News report last week that erroneously claimed he had directed former national security adviser Michael Flynn to make contact with Russians while he was a candidate.
ABC suspended the reporter responsible, Brian Ross, and will no longer have him report on Trump. Ross acknowledged that his reporting had not been fully vetted.
CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter said that the CNN reporters who filed the inaccurate story Friday, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, will not be disciplined because they followed standard editorial practices. They believe their sources, who described the email to them but did not show them a copy, did not intend to mislead them.
That explanation is unlikely to satisfy Trump, who tweeted that CNN should change its slogan to “THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS.”
At a rally in Pensacola on Friday night, Trump raged against “fake news” and suggested ABC should have fired “fraudster” Ross. He also claimed CNN apologized, which Stelter noted it has not done.