Media outlets completely botch another Trump story over the weekend

DCNFPeter Hasson, DCNF

Media outlets botched another Trump-Russia story on Sunday.

President Donald Trump sent out a tweet Sunday morning defending his son Donald Trump Jr.’s decision to take a July 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” the president tweeted. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

The vast majority of reporting on the president’s tweet portrayed it as a significant admission. The Associated Press reported that Trump “appeared to change his story” and sent out a news alert to that effect.

HuffPost titled its story: “Trump Finally Admits His Campaign Colluded With Russia At Trump Tower Meeting.”

New York Times reporter Jose Del Real called Trump’s tweet an “astonishing and brazen admission.” Both The NYT and The Washington Post portrayed Trump’s tweet as a new and significant development in their coverage on Sunday.

There’s just one problem: Trump’s tweet wasn’t a reversal at all. It’s true that Trump’s original explanation for the Trump Tower meeting was that it focused on adoptions, but the president has long since acknowledged that the meeting’s origin was an offer of opposition research.

“I do think this, that taken from a practical standpoint … most people would’ve taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research, or even research into your opponent,” Trump said at a July 13, 2017 press conference. “I’ve only been in politics for two years, but I’ve had many people call up, ‘Oh gee, we have information on this factor or this person,’ or, frankly, Hillary.”

“That’s very standard in politics. Politics is not the nicest business in the world, but it’s very standard where they have information and you take the information, and I think the press made a very big deal out of something that really a lot [of people] would do,” Trump said at the time.

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan was a notable exception to the widespread media overreaction.

“Trump said nothing substantively different today from what he said last July,” Swan noted. “I don’t understand why people are treating this as breaking news.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.


Scroll down for non-member comments or join our insider conversations by becoming a member. We'd love to have you!

Latest Articles