Chuck Ross on March 31, 2019
Jake Tapper said Sunday that CNN has not gotten “anything” wrong during the course of reporting on Russiagate, even though his network has bungled numerous stories over the past two years.
“I’m not sure what you’re saying the media got wrong. The media reported the investigation was going on. Other than the people in the media on the left, not on this network, I don’t know anybody that got anything wrong,” Tapper said during an exchange with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
“We didn’t say there was a conspiracy. We said Mueller was investigating a conspiracy.”
“That’s fine, if that’s your recollection of history, that’s great,” Mulvaney responded to Tapper’s defense. “Face it, the media got this wrong. It’s okay. People get stuff wrong all the time, just not at this level.”
“We need to figure out what went wrong with the Mueller report, why — in all fairness to your network — why the media got it so wrong for so long,” said Mulvaney.
Mulvaney pointed to Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the special counsel’s investigation, which did not establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government. Special counsel Robert Mueller also did not issue any conspiracy indictments against Trump associates during the course of his 22-month-long investigation.
Tapper’s defense of CNN echoes one made March 27 by Chris Cuomo, another CNN host.
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“What wrong facts did we put out?” Cuomo asked during a heated exchange on Tuesday with Republican Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy.
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) March 27, 2019
Despite Tapper and Cuomo’s denials, CNN has been plagued by errors in its reporting on the Russia investigation.
CNN issued a massive correction Dec. 7, 2017, to a story that claimed Donald Trump Jr. had been sent an email Sept. 4, 2016, that contained undisclosed information from WikiLeaks. It turned out CNN’s sources provided the wrong date for the email. Trump Jr. actually received the email Sept. 14, 2016, a day after the information contained in the email had been made public.
CNN was also forced to correct a June 7, 2017, article (co-authored by Tapper) that claimed James Comey would dispute President Donald Trump’s claims that Comey had told him he was not under investigation. Comey undercut the report during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
CNN was also embarrassed by one of its reports regarding the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. CNN reported July 27, 2018, that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen would be willing to tell the special counsel he overheard Donald Trump Jr. tell his father about the Trump Tower meeting, which involved several Russians.
The story fell apart after Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Cohen did not know for certain whether Trump Jr. mentioned the meeting to his father. Davis also admitted to being a source for CNN and other news outlets that matched CNN’s initial report.
Beyond errors on individual stories, CNN routinely hyped allegations of collusion involving the Trump campaign. The network’s anchors and stable of analysts relentlessly pushed collusion conspiracy theories ever since the release of the Steele dossier, the infamous report alleging a “well-developed conspiracy” between the Trump team and Kremlin.
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