The public radio network — sponsored in part with federal funding — used US President Donald Trump Jr.’s Senate testimony transcript from 2017 to report that the Trump Organization’s possible real estate deal in Russia “faded away” by the end of 2014.
Trump Jr. denied the deal was discussed in 2016. “There was never a definitive end to it. It just died of deal fatigue,” he told the Senate.
This answer, according to NPR, placed Trump Jr. in serious legal jeopardy, as Cohen said in a plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller earlier this week that work on the deal continued through June 2016, adding that the former told the president and his children about it.
Critics claim that NPR rushed the story, overlooking Trump Jr’s answers after he had admitted that in late 2015 or 2016 — when then-candidate Trump was running for office — the Trump Organization was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow.
NPR issued a correction five hours after publishing the article on their website, admitting that they “mischaracterized” Trump Jr.'s answers. The publicly-funded network did not apologize for the error.
“An earlier version of this report mischaracterized an answer Donald Trump Jr. gave to Senate investigators in 2017 about the prospective projects his family was negotiating with people in Moscow,” an NPR editor’s note read.
NPR acknowledged that Trump Jr.’ s testimony, that the Moscow real estate deal fell apart in 2014, referred to a different set of negotiations and not that to which Trump family lawyer Cohen had been referring.
Trump Jr. said that the outlet should not “just rush to publish anything thinking that it’s the got ya you so desperately want it to be,” and admitted that this is “as close as I’ll get to an apology.”
I guess this is as close as I’ll get to an apology where yet another “bombshell” bites the dust.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) 30 ноября 2018 г.
Pro tip: don’t just rush to publish anything thinking that it’s the got ya you so desperately want it to be. CNN has the market cornered on that… let them own it 👍 https://t.co/mtmXp6O8GW
Democratic lawmakers praised the NPR story even allowing for the mistake, including US Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, who has not deleted his tweets forwarding the allegations.
A good lesson for all kids (and for anyone in the White House): the truth always comes out. https://t.co/ox7kMjs65c— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) 30 ноября 2018 г.
In 2017 Trump Jr. was wrongly accused by CNN of holding a sneak peek at hacked information acquired by WikiLeaks. The network claimed it emailed Trump Jr. and the Trump campaign a week before WikiLeaks posted the information, although the network got the date wrong and sent the email a day later.