CNN was severely slammed after it declined to retract a bombshell story on the 2016 Trump Tower meeting following one of the anonymous sources admitting that he was a source.
On Tuesday afternoon, CNN published a new report that acknowledged the changing stories of Lanny Davis, the high-powered attorney of President Trump’s longtime “fixer”-turned-foe Michael Cohen — but critics pointed out the network failed to address key issues with its original report.
Davis admitted on Monday he was an anonymous source — after The Washington Post outed him as a source for its own version of the story.
The attorney told reporters on Monday that he regretted being the anonymous source as well as his subsequent denial. The CNN story, which cited multiple “sources,” claimed Cohen said President Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower sit-down.
“I made a mistake,” Davis said.
CNN has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
Davis spent recent days walking back his bombshell assertions that his client could tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Trump had prior knowledge of the meeting with a Russian lawyer discussing potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton. However, CNN has stood by its reporting. Its media newsletter – required reading for coastal elite media members – noted that BuzzFeed’s report “doesn’t mean, however, that CNN’s story is incorrect.”
The newsletter pointed out that the CNN story had “multiple sources,” but critics don’t seem to buy the explanation.
Mediaite published a headline, “CNN Reported Lanny Davis Declined to Comment in Article He’s Quoted As Anonymous Source” that highlights the fact that the original CNN story claimed, “Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen’s attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment.”
According to Davis himself, that particular line of CNN’s report is now a proven falsehood.
“That means CNN might have misled readers about talking to Davis. That’s a bigger problem than a source-burn,” Politico’s Marc Caputo tweeted.
“Very difficult to see how CNN can continue to stand by its July 27 Michael Cohen/Trump Tower story given its own formerly-anonymous source is now openly admitting to lying about it on the network. Retraction seems to be the only recourse here,” The Hill media reporter Joe Concha wrote on Twitter.
“Talk about deception,” The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra wrote.