We concluded our full breakdown of proof that CNN' so-called "anonymous sources" lied thus: "As such, we are quite confident that CNN will promptly retract their erroneous reporting and offer an apology to their readers for the unfortunate mistake."
And while the sarcasm was implied, we are shockingly pleased that CNN - the news agency with a live on-air countdown clock to Comey's testimony - has been forced to issue a correction, and ironically, The Washington Post was the first to jump on the story of CNN's correction, as they explain...
A Tuesday story with four bylines carried this headline: “Comey expected to refute Trump.” Here’s a key part of that story:
Trump has made a blanket claim that Comey told him multiple times that he was not under investigation. But one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation.
On CNN’s air, analyst Gloria Borger put matters more starkly, saying, “Comey is going to dispute the president on this point if he’s asked about it by senators, and we have to assume that he will be. He will say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so.”
But, as we illustrated earlier, this afternoon's prepared remarks 100% refuted those "facts" and given that little problem, CNN published a correction to its story...
CORRECTION AND UPDATE: This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement. The article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation in his prepared testimony released after this story was published.
The new headline reads, “Comey unlikely to judge on obstruction.”
* * *
Here are the full details, as we described earlier, back on May 9th, the White House released the letter that President Trump sent to former FBI Director James Comey informing him that he'd been relieved of his duties at the FBI. Within that letter, Trump awkwardly inserted a sentence thanking Comey for informing him "on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." Here's the full sentence (full post here):
"While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau."
Not surprisingly, this statement set off alarm bells at CNN and other MSM outlets because, if true, it would put a real damper on their "Trump colluded with Russian hackers to stage a coup" narrative. Therefore, those outlets set out on a mission to 'prove' that Comey never made those statements and that, by definition, Trump clearly lied about his past interactions with the former FBI Director.
And not long after setting out on that mission, courtesy of those infamous 'anonymous sources', CNN and ABC struck gold when they confirmed that "FBI Director James Comey is reportedly set to testify he never told President Donald Trump that he was not under investigation." Here is a summary of CNN's reporting from their primary echo chamber, HuffPo:
"Former FBI Director James Comey is reportedly set to testify he never told President Donald Trump that he was not under investigation in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to CNN and ABC News."
And here is the original CNN reporting:
"Trump has made a blanket claim that Comey told him multiple times that he was not under investigation."
"But one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation. Another source hinted that the President may have misunderstood the exact meaning of Comey's words, especially regarding the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence investigation."
Unfortunately, CNN's 'anonymous sources' seem to have been 'mistaken' on this one. And while we have no doubts, generally, about the integrity of CNN and/or their anonymous sources, Comey's direct testimony released just a while ago seems to confirm exactly what Trump said in his original May 9th letter and exactly the opposite what CNN subsequently reported.
In fact, here are precisely three instances (ironic, right?), directly from Comey's testimony, in which he personally told President Trump he was not under investigation:
1. January 6th Meeting at Trump Tower:
"In that context, prior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI’s leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance."
2. January 27th Dinner at White House:
"During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it."
3. March 30 Phone Call:
"I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that."
Of course, we're 'absolutely positive' that everything else CNN has learned and reported from their anonymous sources, regarding Trump and his Russian collusion, is completely accurate and reflect nothing but the highest levels of journalistic integrity. As such, we are quite confident that CNN will promptly retract their erroneous reporting and offer an apology to their readers for the unfortunate mistake.