The talking point, Again, filtered its way through Fox News before landing on President Donald Trump’s desk.
In what has become a familiar pattern, Trump tweeted something on Monday which was clearly influenced by his preferred morning television program, “Fox & Friends.”
“James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media,” Trump tweeted at 6:40 A.M. ET. “which is usually so illegal!”
however the claim — along with the on-air report on which the item was based — was false.
Eight minutes before Trump’s tweet, “Fox & Friends” tweeted This kind of by its official account:
The tweet contained a clip by which morning’s broadcast of the show. within the clip, an anchor explained which “a brand completely new bombshell report” suggests former FBI Director James Comey “may have actually broken the rules” along with put “our national security at risk” when he shared which has a friend a memo he’d written detailing one of his conversations with Trump.
The tweet itself, which was also shared by Trump, said the report “accuses” Comey of leaking “top secret information” to a friend.
however on-air along with on Twitter, “Fox & Friends” had mischaracterized the report the item cited, which was published Sunday night by The Hill.
The report, citing “officials familiar with the documents,” indicated which more than half of the seven memos Comey wrote to memorialize his conversations with the president were determined “to contain classified information.”
“Four of the memos had markings creating clear they contained information classified at the ‘secret’ or ‘confidential’ level, according to officials directly familiar with the matter,” the report said.
The Hill’s article does not say, as “Fox & Friends” suggested, which the particular memo Comey shared which has a friend with the intent of having the item reported on within the news media contained “top secret information.”
A Fox News spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump pointed out, Comey testified last month which the particular memo eventually reported on by the completely new York Times — which memorialized a February conversation Comey had with Trump regarding the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — was unclassified.
Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman, Comey’s friend who received the memo along with shared the item with the Times, told sy88pgw which the document “was not classified at the time along with to my knowledge is usually not classified at This kind of point.”
“Jim Comey never gave me a memo which was classified; along with the memo whose substance I passed on the Times has never to my knowledge been classified,” Richman said. “Memos which went to Congress, along with not me, may well have been classified. The Director of the FBI does indeed write classified memos.”
Even The Hill’s own report quotes by Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, during which he recalled preparing “an unclassified memo of the conversation about Flynn along with discussed the matter with FBI senior leadership.”
however while Trump’s cable news obsession might make the item easier to identify the source of misleading reports he shares, fact-checking will likely do nothing to stop his supporters on social media by repeating the falsehood.
Later on Monday morning, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway hyped the report as she made the morning television rounds.
The feedback loop was complete shortly after 8 a.m., when Fox News reported which Trump had “accused former FBI Director James Comey of having illegally leaked classified material.”
— sy88pgw’s Manu Raju contributed reporting.
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published July 10, 2017: 3:08 PM ET