Last Friday, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and NBC News published articles focusing on the firing of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch and an alleged federal criminal investigation against Rudy Giuliani to determine whether or not he violated foreign lobbying laws.
According to the articles, which featured comments from anonymous sources theoretically familiar with the case, the FBI informed former President Donald Trump’s lawyer that he was in the crosshairs of a Russian disinformation campaign.
The stories also mention that One America News received a warning similar to Rudy Giuliani’s.
These last two points, which explain an FBI warning toward Giuliani and One America News for being under the influence of a foreign disinformation campaign, were retracted by The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC News on Saturday, May 1.
The WaPo, NYT, and NBC stories came out days after Giuliani’s office and residence were searched by the FBI on Thursday, April 29. According to CNN, “The searches were linked to a criminal probe of the former mayor’s business dealings in Ukraine and resulted in the seizure of several communications devices.”
WaPo, NYT, and NBC correct their statements against Guliani
The Washington Post was the first media outlet to publish the story and they corrected the false claim about Rudy Giuliani with the following text:
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.
On the other hand, The New York Times also retracted that claim: “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.”
NBC News’ retraction was the most extensive, explaining that one of its unnamed sources commented on the FBI warning to Rudy Giuliani, but a second denied that assertion.
“CORRECTION (May 1, 2021, 5:20 p.m. ET): 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,” NBC said.
“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. As a result, the premise and headline of the article below have been changed to reflect the corrected information.”
Rudy Giuliani’s reaction
The former mayor of New York was quick to weigh in on Twitter about the WaPo and NYT corrections, though he did not mention in his remarks to NBC.
“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. ” Rudy Giuliani wrote on Twitter.
Former President Trump’s lawyer is under investigation to determine whether or not he broke foreign lobbying laws in Ukraine.
“The full scope of the criminal inquiry is unclear, but its central thread appears to be focused on Giuliani’s longrunning effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens. Specifically, prosecutors are examining if he was working solely in his capacity as Trump’s lawyer, or if he was also working on behalf of foreign interests who believed they would benefit from Trump’s reelection” Business Insider reported.
“Investigators are said to be particularly focused on Giuliani’s role in the abrupt ouster of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Yovanovitch’s dismissal was part of a broader effort by Trump and Giuliani to force Ukraine to launch political investigations targeting the Biden ahead of the 2020 election.”