The Associated Press seemingly equivocated with an “AP Fact Check” tweet about Pres. Donald Trump’s Jan. 8 Oval Office address. As such, the AP’s tweet has become the subject of several news stories and many critical tweets.
The AP’s Jan. 8 “fact check” tweet read: “Democrats put the blame for the shutdown on Trump. But it takes two to tango. Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for his border wall is one reason for the budget impasse. The Democrats refusal to approve the money is another.”
In mid-December, Trump said “I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down, I’m not going to blame you for it,” Talking Points Memo noted.
Fast Company explained the problem with the AP’s framing:
“This characterization, however, is misleading. As the New York Times points out (which is, of course, found on its very own live fact-check page) the Democrats have offered ‘$1.3 billion in funding for border security measures like enhanced surveillance and fortified fencing.’ True, they don’t support a wall, but the AP’s framing infers that they are not trying to compromise, which is simply not true.”
When asked about the tweet, at first, the AP stated, “The tweet was intended to point out that Democrats have refused to accede to President Trump’s demands, which preceded the president’s decision to refuse to fund the government without wall funding included,” the Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reported.
Then, in a second Jan. 9 statement, the AP told Wemple, “The tweet was intended to make clear that both Trump and Democrats have failed to find common ground in their disagreements, but it could have done a better job of explaining the dynamics that have led to the shutdown. The complete AP Fact Check was robust and focused almost exclusively on Trump’s comments.”
iMediaEthics has written to the AP to ask if it stands by the tweet.