Last month, we reported on a segment on Fox News in which two of their most prominent figures, Shep Smith and Judge Andrew Napolitano, discussed the ongoing Russia probe being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and specifically a turn of events that left followers of the case more satisfied than ever that there is ample proof of coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to skew the results of the 2016 presidential election.
That discussion was based on reporting from the New York Times in which it was accidentally revealed through incomplete redactions by lawyers for Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, that Manafort had offered polling data to a Russian business partner with the intention of passing it along to Russian intelligence for political use against American citizens. That was big for a number of reasons, not least of which was who the data was passed on to: At the time, NYT named Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with ties to Russian intelligence — a man whose name you recognize because the Trump administration just lifted sanctions on him.
Trump crony ties to Deripaska are wide and deep, and aren’t limited to the West Wing; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who lobbied intensively for the lifting of Deripaska’s sanctions, is financially tied to him as well.
But then out of the blue, the Times issued a retraction, saying that Manafort’s partner hadn’t passed that polling data to Deripaska, but to two other Russian oligarchs, either of whom would have established no such links to the Trump campaign. That retraction presumably came to the Times in the form of a correction from their original source.
We have no idea who that source is, but according to a transcript released by the court last week, Mueller’s team did, in fact, conclude that the polling data had gone to Deripaska. The retraction was unnecessary and suddenly looked pretty suspicious. Did a shady source get the Times to print something huge, then get them to retract it, all so that when the news came out officially, no one would believe it?
The court transcript is here and proves that sometimes faulty reporting is the result of being too cautious about what to print and when to print it.
Featured image via screen capture