CNN's Louis Falls for Fake Story That a Mother Died from Muslim Ban

On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, during a discussion of White House press secretary Sean Spicer complaining about the media calling President Donald Trump's restrictions on immigration a "Muslim ban," CNN political commentator Errol Louis repeated a story that has turned out to be a hoax; that the Iraqi mother of an American citizen died in Iraq because she was barred from traveling to the U.S. for treatment. The story in question has since been exposed as a fabrication, as the woman died several days before the restrictions were imposed.

Louis: "All of the stories that have been done by this network, by other news organizations, finding who these people are -- these so-called 'bad people' who had to be kept out and finding out that they're children, they're elderly people, they're patriots, they're members of the military, they're, you know, grandmothers. They're people who in at least one tragic case wasn't able to come here for medical treatment, and died, you know."

MSNBC host Chris Hayes also notably tweeted about the fake story, but has since posted a retraction.

On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, at 9:29 a.m. ET, host Costello played a clip of Spicer and then posed: "So, Errol, I'm struggling as to why we're having this semantics war?"

Louis began his analysis:

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If it was a different administration, I would suggest that they've poll-tested it and found that it's giving them some negative results in the populace. I don't know that they've done that. They seem to be moving much too quickly on too many fronts to pay any attention to that sort of close analysis, but, look, I mean, it makes them look bad, you know, in the eyes of the international community.

He then added:

All of the stories that have been done by this network, by other news organizations, finding who these people are -- these so-called "bad people" who had to be kept out and finding out that they're children, they're elderly people, they're patriots, they're members of the military, they're, you know, grandmothers. They're people who in at least one tragic case wasn't able to come here for medical treatment, and died, you know.

The CNN commentator found that the White House had seemed "hard-hearted" as he continued:

And so they seem a little more hard-hearted than even they wanted to seem around this. I think also for legal reasons a flat ban is never going to pass constitutional muster, whereas some of the other arguments they're going to try and make might.

CyberAlerts Foreign Policy Iraq Middle East Immigration Religion Islam CNN CNN Newsroom MSNBC Fake News Video Errol Louis Carol Costello Chris Hayes Donald Trump Sean Spicer