On Thursday's Fox & Friends, former White House press secretary and current Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer bashed CNN over a questionable July 26 report that attorney Michael Cohen was prepared to say President Donald Trump knew in advance about the controversial Trump Tower meeting in 2016.
However, CNN is standing by the report, even though Cohen lawyer and CNN source Lanny Davis is insisting that this client has no such evidence.
According to a report from Mediaite's Ken Meyer: “This has become a focal point of President Trump‘s latest clash with the network and when Fleischer was asked about this today on Fox & Friends, he said: ‘They sure get a lot wrong’ when covering reports on Trump, arguing that this isn’t the first of CNN’s bombshells to be dismissed as ‘duds.’”
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt began by saying: “Well, President Trump is blasting CNN for standing by its botched story about a controversial 2016 meeting in Trump Tower.” Trump had posted his disappointment with the network by tweeting:
CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake.
Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all across the country! Fake News!
However, a CNN PR tweet offered this childish response: “Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them.”
Fleischer came out with both fists flying:
Well, maybe they lie, maybe they don’t lie, but they sure get a lot wrong. By my count, this is CNN’s fifth blown bombshell related to Donald Trump.
The first time “was when CNN said that Comey will not say what Donald Trump said he’d say, that Trump is not under investigation,” the guest noted.
Next, “[T]hey messed up when they said [former Communications Director Anthony] Scaramucci was connected to the Russians.”
“They said that Donald Trump Jr. knew about the WikiLeaks ahead of time, which turned out to be bogus,” Fleischer continued.
The press also said that Cohen was wiretapped, and “now they said Donald Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting in advance.”
“All five bombshells, all five duds, CNN gets a lot wrong,” Fleischer stated.
Earhardt followed up by asking: “How did this happen? How are they not being accused of telling a lie?”
I think the reason is because there’s such a velocity and direction in the press to accept any assertion that Trump did wrong, particularly with Russia.
CNN and many of the media are so invested in wanting to get Donald Trump over Russia and collusion that they drop their normal editorial filters and put things on the air that they should not put on the air.
“And once something goes wrong,” he added, “they refuse to acknowledge it, and what’s gotten CNN in so much trouble now over the ‘Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower meeting with Michael Cohen saying it.’”
“Look, I don’t blame the media for getting something wrong if the source gives it to them wrong,” the guest noted, “but once a source gives it to you wrong, you need to acknowledge it.”
“You need to come out and say: ‘We relied on Lanny Davis, Lanny Davis retracted his story, and therefore, CNN got it wrong. End of story.’”
As for why CNN hasn’t deleted that article, Fleischer stated: “My only guess is CNN is too embarrassed to fix their reporting or Michael Cohen is the source that CNN is hanging its hat on.”
“If that’s the case, Michael Cohen has big problems because he told Congress the opposite and that could be perjury if Michael Cohen said one thing to CNN and then lied to Congress.”
Such a discussion would never have happened on CNN or MSNBC, where the only words that would have been used had come out of a liberal playbook, no matter how embarrassing those terms would be.