NBC News retracted a key detail in the biggest story of the day — that special counsel Robert Mueller was listening in on phone conversations of longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, including at least one call with the White House.
Early Thursday evening, the reporter walked that back in an appearance on MSNBC.
Reporter Tom Winter, citing “three senior U.S. officials,” said his earlier story was incorrect about the type of surveillance being done on Mr. Cohen.
“This is not a wiretap, instead it is a pen-register,” Mr. Winter said, going on to give a “plain English” description of the difference.
“That means it’s a log of phone calls” involving a phone or phones (the latter in the Cohen case), Mr. Winter said. “They were able to see who he called … but they were not able to listen in in real time or record those calls.”
The earlier revelation that, in the words of the original story, “federal investigators have wiretapped the phone lines of Michael Cohen” had prompted a furious reaction from the Trump team.
For example, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, the new public face of Mr. Trump’s legal team, called on Attorney-General Jeff Sessions to “step in” and investigate Mr. Mueller’s team for possible violation of attorney-client privilege.