CNN is distancing itself from other media, namely BuzzFeed, that have reported on a batch of documents that amount to salacious and unverified opposition research on Donald Trump. Here’s CNN’s statement released after President-elect Trump’s news conference at which he labeled the cable news network “fake news.”
CNN’s decision to publish carefully sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than Buzzfeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos. The Trump team knows this. They are using Buzzfeed’s decision to deflect from CNN’s reporting, which has been matched by the other major news organizations. We are fully confident in our reporting. It represents the core of what the First Amendment protects, informing the people of the inner workings of their government; in this case, briefing materials prepared for President Obama and President-elect Trump last week. We made it clear that we were not publishing any of the details of the 35-page document because we have not corroborated the report’s allegations. Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.
However, NBC News is reporting that while the two-page synopsis exists it “was never discussed in the briefing.” In CNN’s original report Tuesday evening, correspondent Jim Sciutto said, “we cannot confirm if it was discussed in his meeting with those intelligence chiefs.” Later, during prime time coverage, Tapper said, “the nation’s top intelligence officials presented information to President-elect Donald Trump on Friday and President Barack Obama on Thursday about claims of Russian efforts to compromise President-elect Trump.” Here’s NBC’s Cynthia McFadden‘s reporting from this morning:
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 11, 2017