For the last six years, the mainstream media has published “bombshell” reports on former President Donald Trump that permanently altered the political landscape.
Unfortunately, most of these reports were based on anonymous sources, were completely wrong and intentionally misleading. When the truth was revealed — sometimes years after the accusation — the press nonchalantly moved on, pretended like there’s nothing to see, or issued minor corrections in the middle of the night.
Below are the top 10 “bombshells” during the Trump administration that were completely untrue and should erode all public trust in the fourth estate. The media is all too willing to publish fact-free stories that slam the former president based on hearsay, unnamed sources and devoid of any evidence to back the claims up.
Like the former president said yesterday, “Establishment media errors, omissions, mistakes, and outright lies always slant one way — against me and against Republicans.”
There needs to be accountability in the press. This article aims to deliver just that.
- Oct. 31, 2016: Slate reports the Trump Organization maintained a secret computer server at Trump Tower directly tied to a Moscow bank whose partners were linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The conspiracy theory was peddled by Hillary Clinton’s team aimed at linking the Trump campaign to Russia. The problem? The server wasn’t located in Trump Tower, it was in a Pennsylvania town, and it wasn’t operated by the Trump Organization but by an independent email marketing firm once hired by the former president’s company.
- Jan. 10, 2017: BuzzFeed publishes the unverified, fake, DNC-funded Steele Dossier that it dressed up as “an intelligence report,” which the Kremlin could use to blackmail the incoming president. It was filled with salacious and unsubstantiated claims about Mr. Trump’s reported behavior in Russia. Other media outlets followed in their publication. It was all fake news.
- Jan. 26, 2017: The Washington Post posted a viral report that “the State Department’s entire senior management team just resigned.” This resignation, according to The Post, was “part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.” The problem? It was a standard transition — where Obama appointees were asked to leave in favor of incoming Trump appointees. The entire premise of the story was written for shock and awe value — notice there are no like stories about President Biden firing Trump appointees in order to staff his own administration.
- June 23, 2017: CNN falsely claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating a “$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of [the Trump] transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration,” based on a single, unnamed source. It later retracted the story, saying it didn’t meet their editorial standards — meaning the entire thing was made up.
- Dec. 8, 2017: Still trying to connect the Trump campaign with Russia, CNN reported that anonymous sources told them during the 2016 campaign that Donald Trump Jr. received a Sept. 4 email that gave him advanced access to hacked DNC information on WikiLeaks’ servers. The only problem was the date. The email was received on Sept. 14, after WikiLeaks had already released the information to the public. The email was merely somebody encouraging Mr. Trump Jr. to look at what was already public information. MSNBC and CBS went on to “confirm” this false story — for they truly believed it was going to be the smoking gun that proved the Russia-collusion hoax.
- Sept. 5, 2018: The New York Times publishes an anonymous op-ed by a “senior Trump official in the Trump administration,” vowing to thwart the president’s reckless agenda. Turns out, the 33-year-old official didn’t even work in the White House. He was the chief of staff to the Department of Homeland Security secretary — not senior in any way.
- Jan. 17, 2019: BuzzFeed reports then-President Trump told his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two anonymous sources. The report was so fraudulent, the office of special counsel, Robert Mueller, who at the time was investigating the former president’s Russia connections had to issue a rare statement refuting it.
- Sept. 3, 2020: The Atlantic publishes a story claiming Mr. Trump called Americans who died in war “losers” and “suckers” based on anonymous sources. The story was discredited — on the record — from 21 Trump officials, 14 of which were on the Paris trip where the comments supposedly took place.
- Jan. 9, 2021: The New York Times claimed U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher at the hands of pro-Trump protesters in the Jan. 6th riot. The story was used as the impetus of Mr. Trump’s second impeachment trial and was repeated for more than five weeks until The Times quietly issued a correction claiming Sicknick’s death may have been caused by an adverse reaction to bear spray.
- Jan. 9, 2021: The Washington Post made up quotes of a call Mr. Trump had with a Georgia election official, saying he told her to “find the fraud,” and that if she did, she would be a “national hero,” based on an anonymous source. The entire story was based on the premise the president’s request may have been a criminal act. Two months after its publication, Georgia released audio of the call, where the president said no such thing. The entire story was a lie yet was “confirmed” by others in the news media as truth.