Back in April of last year, Mueller’s office issued another rare statement about these kinds of stories.
“What I have been telling all reporters is that many stories about our investigation have been inaccurate.
“Be very cautious about any source that claims to have knowledge about our investigation and dig deep into what they claim before reporting on it.
“If another outlet reports something, don’t run with it unless you have your own sourcing to back it up.”
James Comey also made a similar statement.
“The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on and those of us who actually know what’s going on are not talking about it,” said Comey during questioning from Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho). “And we don’t call the press and say, ‘Hey, you got that thing wrong.’ ”
Other examples of false stories:
1) From CNN
Washington (CNN) In his much-anticipated congressional testimony on Thursday, fired FBI Director James Comey will dispute President Donald Trump’s blanket claim that he was told he was not under investigation multiple times, according to sources familiar with Comey’s thinking. web.archive.org/web/20170606234238/http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/06/politics/comey-testimony-refute-trump-russian-investigation/index.html
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. www.cnn.com/2017/06/06/politics/comey-testimony-refute-trump-russian-investigation/index.html
2) From CNN
“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a spokesman said Monday evening. The story, which reported that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,” cited a single anonymous source. money.cnn.com/2017/06/26/media/cnn-announcement-retracted-article/index.html
3) New York Times: James Comey: a controversial New York Times story in February about alleged contacts between Trump intimates and Russian officials was bogus. “In the main, it was not true,” he said. “The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on and those of us who actually know what’s going on are not talking about it,” said Comey during questioning from Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho). “And we don’t call the press and say, ‘Hey, you got that thing wrong.’ ” www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2017/06/08/in-the-main-it-was-not-true-comey-denounces-new-york-times-story/
4) New York Times: Notorious “17 intelligence agencies agree” claim retracted by the New York Times. www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/pageoneplus/corrections-june-29-2017.html It was actually 3 agencies according to Former director of National Intelligence Clapper (www.youtube.com/watch?v=NevA1FFfj7s)
5) NBC News:
“EXCLUSIVE: Putin does not deny having compromising information on President Trump in interview with @megynkelly.” twitter.com/keridouglas/status/871514544480415744/photo/1
“CORRECTION: Putin denies having compromising information about President Trump, calls it nonsense twitter.com/NBCNews/status/871519148085583873
6) from ABC News:
“JUST IN: @BrianRoss on @ABC News Special Report: Michael Flynn promised “full cooperation to the Mueller team” and is prepared to testify that as a candidate, Donald Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.” web.archive.org/web/20171201162158/https:/twitter.com/ABC/status/936628560374071296
“CLARIFICATION of ABC News Special Report: Flynn prepared to testify that President-elect Donald Trump (not candidate Trump as initially reported) directed him to make contact with the Russians during the transition — initially as a way to work together to fight ISIS in Syria, confidant now says. archive.is/WDuoW
The reason this “news” was so big was because it was basically evidence of collusion. The economy tanked after it was published. After they corrected it, it’s no longer evidence of collusion. It’s just normal presidential business.
7) CNN claimed the Trump campaign was given special access to Wikileaks documents before they were published based on an email they said was dated September 4, prior to the release of those documents. This was according to “multiple sources.” They updated the story to show that the email was actually dated September 14, after the documents were made public, which means some random person messaged the Trump Campaign about public information, which is a non-story theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/. Updated CNN article edition.cnn.com/2017/12/08/politics/email-effort-give-trump-campaign-wikileaks-documents/index.html
7.1) CBS claimed to have “independently confirmed” the September 4 email, also adds editor’s note on their article retracting the claim. www.cbsnews.com/news/house-intel-investigates-trump-jr-email-involving-documents-hacked-during-campaign/
7.2) NBC also “confirmed” the false September 4 email story with “two sources with direct knowledge.” web.archive.org/web20171208164020/http://www.nbcnews.com/https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trumps-trump-jr-received-email-offering-hacked-wikileaks-documents-last-n827716
8) Slate: Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia? www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/10/was_a_server_registered_to_the_trump_organization_communicating_with_russia.html
For a bigger list of false stories, see this thread. np.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/8yn76s/huge_list_with_examples_of_misleading_and_false/