- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rep. Elijah Cummings spouted off fake news Tuesday afternoon.

In regards to National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, Mr. Cummings said: “Something is wrong here. Madam Leader, just this morning Flynn tweeted – and this is a quote – ‘scapegoat.’ He basically described himself as a scapegoat.”

Except Mr. Flynn never used such words.

Mr. Cummings was citing a story from the New York Times, which included quotes from a fake twitter account, set up to impersonate Mr. Flynn.

The fake tweets read: “While I accept full responsibility for my actions, I feel it is unfair that I have been made the sole scapegoat for what happened.”

Another said, “But if a scapegoat is what’s needed for this Administration to continue to take this great nation forward, I am proud to do my duty.”

As soon as the Times realized it had published a fake account — which it hadn’t sought to verify beforehand — it corrected its story.

“[B]ecause of an editing error, an earlier version quoted three posts from an unverified Twitter account purporting to be Mr. Flynn’s, responding to the resignation,” the correction said.

But it was too late — the paper of record had already done damage.

Mr. Cummings used the report in a press conference Tuesday to further spread untruths about Mr. Flynn that was aired live on CBS and CNN, among other networks. He demanded Congress call for an investigation into Mr. Flynn, based on unverified tweets.

This is how trust erodes between the mainstream media and the American public.

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