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Jake Tapper’s Russia Scoop Hardly Made An Appearance On ‘The Lead With Jake Tapper’

Screenshot CNN, The Lead With Jake Tapper

Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted out a big scoop Friday pushing back on a story claiming Russia is trying to re-elect President Donald Trump, but the news didn’t make it onto his show.

“A classified briefing to House members” suggested that Russia is trying to help Trump win the 2020 election, the New York Times reported Thursday. Tapper pushed back on this based on a scoop from “a national security official” that he knows.

“A national security official I know and trust pushes back on the way the briefing/ODNI story is being told, and others with firsthand knowledge agree with his assessment,” Tapper tweeted Friday morning. “‘What’s been articulated in the news is that the intelligence community has concluded that the Russians are trying to help Trump again. But the intelligence doesn’t say that,’ the official says…” (RELATED: Reports Of Russia Trying To Re-Elect Trump Were ‘Mischaracterized,’ Official Says)

This scoop, continued in a longer thread on Twitter, was dramatically lessened on “The Lead With Jake Tapper.” During Tapper’s show, he simply said that there “is a lot of controversy” regarding the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) briefing. Tapper added he has “been told that a lot of individuals at the briefing were surprised when the briefer said that the Russians had a clear preference for President Trump.”

“Some people said that the intelligence is not there. Democrats and Republicans all agree, they wanted to see the underlying intelligence underneath that,” Tapper continued on air, not noting any specific quotes that he had tweeted out nor that his Twitter scoop was from a national security official.

CNN senior national correspondent Alex Marquardt was the first to mention Tapper’s scoop, only saying that “a national security official pushed back and” told the network “it is more that the Russians view Trump as someone they can work with, because they see him as a deal maker.”

Tapper’s other brief mention was a quick summary during the hour, noting in one sentence that he had “been told that a lot of the individuals at the briefing were surprised when the briefer said that the Russians had a clear preference for” Trump.

“And Democrats and Republicans said they wanted to see the underlying intelligence underneath it,” Tapper continued before noting that the Russian president interfered with the 2016 election, which ended up hurting former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

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Meanwhile, Tapper gave direct, specific quotes about the situation just hours earlier on Twitter from his national security official. The official said that the situation “may have been mischaracterized” by Shelby Pierson, the intelligence community’s election threats executive. None of these specifics were mentioned on air, where Tapper instead grossly downplayed his contrasting news.

“The President was upset that he had to hear about an intelligence conclusion from a Member of the House Republicans rather than from the intelligence community. So he was out of joint with Maguire on that process,” Tapper’s Twitter scoop continued.

The CNN anchor added that his information indicated “there seems to be more to this particular story.” The information from the national security official did not dispute “that the Russians (and others) are attempting to interfere in the US election again,” Tapper noted.

Update: The headline has been changed to more accurately reflect the amount of time dedicated to the story.