Major Media Outlets Print Retraction On Rudy Giuliani Story

Written by Carmine Sabia

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion




The Washington Post and The New York Times have had to issues retractions after publishing fake news about former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also served as the attorney for Donald Trump.

Both of the newspapers published stories that claimed that Giuliani was warned by federal authorities that he was the target of a Russian disinformation campaign, and both had to issue retractions.

“The FBI warned Rudolph W. Giuliani in late 2019 that he was the target of a Russian influence operation aimed at circulating falsehoods intended to damage President Biden politically ahead of last year’s election, according to people familiar with the matter,” The Washington Post originally reported.

“The warning was part of an extensive effort by the bureau to alert members of Congress and at least one conservative media outlet, One America News, that they faced a risk of being used to further Russia’s attempt to influence the election’s outcome, said several current and former U.S. officials. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains highly sensitive,” it claimed.

“Giuliani received the FBI’s warning while deeply involved with former president Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and related activities in Ukraine to surface unflattering or incriminating information about the Biden family. The revelation comes as the FBI this week seized Giuliani’s cellphone and other electronic devices as part of a long-running criminal investigation into whether the onetime New York mayor and personal attorney for Trump acted as an unregistered foreign agent,” it said.

In the retraction made on Saturday The Post corrected its erroneous assertion.

“Correction: An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation. That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings,” it said.

The Times had to do a similar correction.

“The FBI stepped up its warnings about Russian disinformation before the 2020 election, including giving a defensive briefing to Mr. Giuliani, cautioning him that some of the information he was pushing on the Biden family was tainted by Russian intelligence’s efforts to spread disinformation,” it said in its original report.

The Times originally did not issue a correction, but simply changed the paragraph. It has now issued a correction after being called out by CNN reporter Oliver Darcy.

“We decided to update the story as quickly as possible to stop perpetuating the incorrect information while we reviewed correction language,” a spokesperson for The Times said to Darcy.

“An earlier version of this article misstated whether Rudolph W. Giuliani received a formal warning from the F.B.I. about Russian disinformation. Mr. Giuliani did not receive such a so-called defensive briefing,” the correction now reads.

“NBC News has also now corrected its story: ‘The report was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him…,’” Darcy said.

Giuliani was fuming over the mistake and demanded answers.

“On a Saturday, the Washington Post added this correction to their defamatory story about me. The Washington Post and the NYT must reveal their sources who lied and targeted an American Citizen. #msnbc , #cnn forgot to mention the corrections today. #fakenews #badpeople,” he said.

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“Where did the original false information come from? @MSNBC @CNN @nytimes I couldn’t quite hear your apology?” he said.

The Department of Justice raided former Giuliani’s apartment in Manhattan and seized electronic devices.

The search warrant was executed on Wednesday as authorities increase their scrutiny of Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, The New York Times reported.