When it first published this article, CNN likely thought it had some dynamite exclusive. The story details an email received by Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Administration, linking them to Wikileaks’ uploaded trove of hacked DNC emails. CNN reports that the email was sent days before the leak went public, which would hint at favoritism from Wikileaks and arouse suspicions of collusion between them and the campaign.
The problem is, according to The Washington Post, CNN had the date wrong.
WaPo reports that the email sent to the Trump administration was not sent on Sept. 4, days before the leak went public, but on Sept. 14, one day afterwards. Because Sept. 4 coincided with the day Trump tweeted about Wikileaks (he shared an article from The Gateway Pundit), CNN seems to have jumped to the conclusion that it was inspired by this very email.
But WaPo notes that the most likely explanation is that the Trump administration received this unsolicited email after the hack was made public, and never even read it. WaPo reports that writer of the email said his name was Michael J. Erickson and that he was the president of “an aviation management company.” The email was made public from the House Judiciary Committee’s files of emails from the Trump administration, and the Committee reportedly questioned Donald Trump Jr. about this very email.
CNN likely saw Sept. 4 and connected that date to the first time Trump tweeted about Wikileaks in connection to Clinton. It would make sense that this email would influence Trump’s tweets, but that is simply not the case. And CNN—just like ABC News last week—just made it harder for the American public to take the Russian allegations seriously.