UPDATE (3:50 pm ET): CNN’s Manu Raju issued an on-air correction just before 4:00 pm ET, nearly three hours after The Washington Post disproved their original story.
CNN granted major airtime to an apparent bombshell revelation about Donald Trump Jr. and Wikileaks. However, the story soon turned out to be severely misreported and not a bombshell at all.
CNN reported early Friday that the Trump campaign may have had a heads up about documents stolen from Democrats by Wikileaks. CNN claimed that a person named Mike Erickson emailed Trump Jr. and others on the Trump campaign on Sept. 4, 2016 with a link to Wikileaks documents and an encryption key.
However, a copy of the email obtained by The Daily Caller reveals that the email was actually sent on Sept. 14, a full day after the documents were already released to the public. (RELATED: CNN Botches Major ‘Bombshell’ Alleging Contacts Between Don Jr. And WikiLeaks)
CNN spent a significant amount of time on television Friday touting their “exclusive” and “breaking news” story.
From 8 am ET to 1:30 pm ET, CNN spent close to a full hour on the story, gave it five breaking news banners, and brought on over a dozen guests to discuss the implications of the email sent to Trump Jr. The network led with the story on their 9 am, 10 am, and 11 am shows.
CNN brought on two Democratic representatives, Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who sounded the alarm on alleged connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“There is a pattern here, a flow, a momentum of more Russian actors, more communications, more efforts by the Russians to communicate with Trump associates and clearly more efforts by Trump associates to go in the reverse,” Quigley asserted. “It is a pattern that is reacted to by denials and then there is a disclosure and then there is an attempt at minimizing what these efforts have meant.”
CNN then grilled Republican Rep. Steve Russell, a member of the House Oversight Committee, about the alleged email. Anchor Poppy Harlow asked Russell if the new reporting “concerns” or “bothers” him, to which Russell responded that it was still unclear if Trump Jr. even responded to the email.
Furthermore, CNN seemed to have realized that the story was botched when The Washington Post published a story at 1 pm indicating that the email was actually sent on Sept. 14. CNN’s last mention of their own “exclusive” was at 1:10 pm.
In the meantime, CNN has not corrected or retracted their own story either on air or online. The last update to the online story was made shortly after 11 am.