Reuters Falsely Suggests Russia Was Behind Pentagon Documents Leak

(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Reuters falsely suggested that Russia may have been behind the Pentagon documents leak after obtaining information from three unnamed U.S. officials.

A trove of classified material containing highly sensitive information on the war in Ukraine began circulating widely on social media in late March, prompting the Pentagon and Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the cause of the leak. The outlet published an April 7 report with the headline, “Russia likely behind U.S. military document leak, U.S. officials say,” in which it cited three unnamed officials who blamed the leak on either pro-Russian elements or the Kremlin itself.

The officials told Reuters of their suspicions due to the documents appearing to alter the number of Russian casualties, according to the article.

On Thursday, the FBI arrested 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, who serves in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, for the leak. Teixeira reportedly oversaw a private server on the Discord messaging platform, which consisted of young males in their late teens, 20s and 30s, where he posted the documents under the name “OG.” (RELATED: Kirby Warns Journalists Not To Report On Leaked Pentagon Papers) 

The Independent published an article with a similar headline — “Russia likely behind classified Pentagon documents leak, US officials say.” The story cited Reuters’ reporting of the few officials who believed Russia was behind the leak.

The outlet received backlash on social media for publishing the false assertion.

“Russia or pro-Russian elements are likely behind the leak of several classified U.S. military documents posted on social media… three U.S. officials told Reuters.” — one week ago,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote.

The documents specifically detailed the weaknesses in Ukrainian air defense networks, NATO’s plans to rebuild Ukraine’s military and the position of Ukrainian troops, CNN reported.