NBC, WaPo, NYT retract reports FBI warned Giuliani of Russian disinformation

The Washington Post, New York Times, and NBC News all issued corrections over the weekend, saying that Rudy Giuliani did not receive a direct warning from the FBI that he was a target of a Russian disinformation campaign. The outlets had all made the claim after Giuliani’s office and home were raided by the FBI earlier this week as part of a criminal probe into his dealings with Ukraine. They were all attributed to anonymous sources.

All the corrections were pretty similar. “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,” wrote the New York Times. The Washington Post expanded its correction a bit to include a claim it had made about One America News. “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,” reads the Post’s correction.

NBC published the most extensive correction, detailing how it got the story wrong and making clear that the briefing for Giuliani had been, in fact, prepared but never delivered:

An earlier version of this article included an incorrect report that Rudolph Giuliani had received a defensive briefing from the FBI in 2019 warning him that he was being targeted by a Russian influence operation. 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, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani.

Giuliani is now calling on the media outlets to “reveal their sources who lied and targeted an American citizen.” Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing and said the raids illustrated a “corrupt double standard” by the Justice Department. “There was no justification for that warrant, it is illegal, unconstitutional warrant,” Giuliani told Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

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