The New York Times has been forced to (finally) retract a popular Democratic talking point that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Russia conducted cyber attacks on the U.S. during the 2016 election.
As Consortium News reports, The New York Times’ correction came after the outlet, in a report on Monday, mocked President Donald Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help him get elected.”
Today, The New York Times removed that portion of the article and stated – way at the bottom of the piece – the following:
Correction: June 29, 2017
A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.
“The Times’ grudging correction was vindication for some Russia-gate skeptics who had questioned the claim of a full-scale intelligence assessment, which would usually take the form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a product that seeks out the views of the entire Intelligence Community and includes dissents,” reports Consortium News.
Instead, the source the mainstream media – including the government-funded NPR – used to back up its “17 intelligence agencies” claim was a letter from members of 17 intelligence agencies, whom former intelligence executives James Clapper and John Brennan stated in sworn congressional testimonies in May were “hand-picked,” meaning – as Consortium News reports – their statements were not indicative of their entire respective organizations’ views.
“As any intelligence expert will tell you, if you “hand-pick” the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion. For instance, if the analysts were known to be hard-liners on Russia or supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could be expected to deliver the one-sided report that they did,” the outlet states.
The “17 intelligence agencies” claim, of course, was used for months by Democrats, Verified Liberals and the mainstream media (such as USA Today) to discredit anyone who dared to call into question allegations of Russian hacking in the 2016 election.
17 U.S. intelligence agencies: Russia interfered in the election
President of the United States: “If…” https://t.co/xbkh7O0vGk
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 22, 2017
Hillary Clinton even cited the claim during the third and final Presidential debate.
She would bring the lie up again at a May 31 technology conference in California, stating, “17 agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get. They concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign, to influence voters in the election.”
“The failure of the major news organizations to clarify this point about the 17 agencies may have contributed to [The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman] mistake on June 25 as she simply repeated the groupthink that nearly all the Important People in Washington just knew to be true,” concludes Consortium News’ report.
“But the Times’ belated correction also underscores the growing sense that the U.S. mainstream media has joined in a political vendetta against Trump and has cast aside professional standards to the point of repeating false claims designed to denigrate him.”
Indeed, the mood online among Trump supporters is jubilant following The New York Times’ correction.
— Deplorable Redneck (@toddhenry1971) June 29, 2017
Was a true #FakeNews article.
— Mason Tanguay (@MasonATanguay) June 29, 2017
CNN, NYT… who is next? Time for WaPo now….
— Malinka (@Malinka1102) June 29, 2017
— CovfefeNanceBased (@NancyLCouch1) June 29, 2017
Another narrative blown up…
— C (@W1nOrD1e) June 29, 2017