CNN Is Standing By Its Trump Tower Story Despite Contradictions

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Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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CNN is standing by its July 27 story claiming President Donald Trump knew about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the Russians before it occurred.

CNN reported that at least two “anonymous sources” said former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was present when Trump was informed that the Trump Tower meeting would take place with his son, Donald Trump Jr. Cohen was also reportedly willing to share this information with special counsel Robert Mueller.

New information has been revealed over the past several weeks that seems to debunk the core claims of CNN’s reporting.

First, Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, told CNN that his client “does not” have any information that Trump knew about the meeting beforehand. (RELATED: Lanny Davis Obliterated CNN’s ‘Bombshell’ Report About Michael Cohen And Trump Tower) 

“I think the reporting of the story got mixed up in the course of a criminal investigation. We were not the source of the story,” Davis told anchor Anderson Cooper last week.

Davis also later admitted that he erroneously confirmed the story to the New York Post when it was first reported. (RELATED: Lanny Davis Admits He Lied To The Media About Major Trump Tower Report) 

“I regret that I wasn’t clear enough to The Post. I should have been more clear. I could not independently confirm the information in the CNN story,” Davis said on Friday.

In addition to Davis’ backtracking, Michael Cohen testified twice to Congress that he personally did not know about the meeting in advance. This contradicts CNN’s claim that Cohen was present when Trump learned the Trump Tower meeting was set to occur. (RELATED: CNN Still Hasn’t Corrected Report Claiming Trump Knew About Trump Tower Meeting)

Despite all of the evidence that puts CNN’s reporting on shaky ground, the network is standing by its story.

“We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting of it,” CNN PR said in a statement over the weekend.

CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy doubled down in Sunday night’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter, writing, “Pro-Trump websites are claiming the CNN story was a ‘lie,’ and that it’s been ‘debunked.’ They might want it to be ‘debunked,’ but it’s not. The critics don’t know who CNN’s sources were.”

UPDATED (August 28, 2018, 6:46 a.m.):

An earlier version of this report mistakenly said that CNN used “two anonymous sources.” They used at least two anonymous sources.

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