White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted CNN Tuesday night for airing an apparently false report concerning an address from President Donald Trump in their eagerness “to be first to break news.”
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins cited CNN Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny when she posted Tuesday, “Aides are making urgent preparations at this hour for Trump to address the nation, per [Jeff Zeleny]. The specific timing [to be determined] & could be delayed given we are still learning info but two officials say a speech is being prepared and plans are being made for Oval address.”
Yet Grisham said CNN did not even attempt to confirm the report.
“This is not true – was never true – & no one even attempted to confirm with the press office before tweeting,” tweeted Grisham. “In a race to be first to break news, the public once again falls victim to irresponsible ‘reporting’ by [CNN, Jeff Zeleny ,and Kaitlan Collins].”
CNN’s inaccurate reporting didn’t just end up on social media, but on the network airwaves and news site.
“The White House is making plans for President Trump to address the nation tonight,” a report was headlined, that was authored by Zeleny.
“As President Trump confers with his top advisers tonight at the White House, aides are making urgent preparations at this hour for him to address the nation after Iran fired missiles at US forces in Iraq,” Zeleny posted.
“The specific timing of the address is still to be determined — and could be delayed, as information is being gathered — but two officials tell CNN that a speech is being prepared and plans are being made for Trump to speak tonight from the Oval Office,” the post added.
CNN responded to Grisham by saying the press secretary was “completely out of the loop” with her own team and the news outlet stood by their reporting.
“The most shocking thing about this statement is that the [press secretary] is completely out of the loop in her own shop,” CNN Communications insisted. “CNN’s reporting that preparations were being made for an address was 100 percent accurate, and was confirmed by multiple [White House] officials.”
“Nice try” CNN added.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed that more than a dozen ballistic missiles were launched by Iran against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. This attack came in response to a Trump-ordered killing of terrorist and Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week.
“Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations killing American troops” during the Iraq War, Fox News reported. “According to the State Department, 17% of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani.”
Reports from the State Department indicated that Soleimani was in the process of “coordinating” attacks on U.S. personnel.
“We can confirm that in the past several days, General Soleimani had been traveling in the Middle East coordinating further imminent large-scale attacks against U.S. diplomats and service members. These threats were highly credible and the intelligence is sound,” the State Department’s statement read.
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