NY Times, AP make quiet corrections on widely-cited anti-Trump story

by WorldTribune Staff, July 2, 2017

The New York Times and Associated Press have published corrections to stories that claimed all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies assessed Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The report continues to be used by proponents of the Trump-Russia narrative. The corrections said that only four of the agencies made the assessment.

The four U.S. intelligence agencies that did assert Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election were headed by directors, including former FBI chief James Comey, who had been criticized for politicizing their roles.

Former CIA Director John Brennan has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.

After Trump delivered a speech at the CIA in January, Brennan was said to be “deeply saddened and angered” at the “despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” Brennan’s former of deputy chief of staff Nick Shapiro said. “Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself.”

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said Brennan “sounded like a partisan political hack. I think everybody needs to take a step back and a very deep breath…and think about what their words are.”

The American Spectator charged in an analysis that Brennan was angling to keep his job in a Hillary Clinton administration and “colluded” with foreign spies in an effort to bring down Trump’s candidacy.

Brennan was also at odds with Mike Flynn, who had planned to undo the Obama-era “reset” with Muslim countries, the report said.

The correction on the Times’ website was added on June 29 to a June 26 Maggie Haberman bylined article headlined “Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies.” The correction reads:

“A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies— the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”

The Associated Press on June 30 issued the following correction:

“In stories published April 6, June 2, June 26 and June 29, The Associated Press reported that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump. That assessment was based on information collected by three agencies – the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency – and published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which represents all U.S. intelligence agencies. Not all 17 intelligence agencies were involved in reaching the assessment.”

The correction “is a hugely significant admission because this lie was widely propagated for over the past nine months,” Kristine Marsh, an analyst for the Media Research Center, said.

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