Michael Cohen's Phone Being Wiretapped? NBC News said so, then corrected - iMediaEthics

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MSNBC aired an on-air correction. (Credit: MSNBC/Screenshot)

NBC News’ released a bombshell story this afternoon — the phone calls of Pres. Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen were being wiretapped. But about four hours after publication, NBC News walked back its report, admitting Cohen isn’t being wiretapped but, in fact, federal officials are only obtaining a “log of calls” on Cohen’s line.

The difference is that NBC News originally said Cohen’s calls could be listened in on, but the correction says, instead, federal investigators just know what phone numbers are on the call.

As NBC News’ corrected story reads:


“The calls are logged by what is commonly referred to as a pen register, which records the number of the phone that made the call and the number that received it, but does not record the contents of any conversation.

NBC News originally reported that Cohen’s phone lines had been wiretapped, meaning a judge had given investigators approval to listen to phone calls. Three senior U.S. officials now dispute that, saying the monitoring of the calls was limited to a log of calls.”

NBC News posted a correction atop its online article, which reads:

“CORRECTION: Earlier today, NBC News reported that there was a wiretap on the phones of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, citing two separate sources with knowledge of the legal proceedings involving Cohen.

But three senior U.S. officials now dispute that, saying that the monitoring of Cohen’s phones was limited to a log of calls, known as a pen register, not a wiretap where investigators can actually listen to calls.

NBC News has changed the headline and revised parts of the original article.”

NBC News reporter Tom Winter also tweeted a correction: “Correction: Earlier today NBC News, and this reporter, said that Michael Cohen’s phone lines were wiretapped. 3 Senior U.S. Officials now dispute that, saying the monitoring was limited to a log of calls (pen register) not a wiretap of Cohen’s lines. We will continue to report.”

A correction was also tweeted on the official NBC News account.

MSNBC also aired a correction on air for the NBC News error, TV Newser noted.


iMediaEthics has written to NBC News to ask how the error occurred.


ABC News also issued a correction on Twitter for reporting the claims, the Huffington Post noted.


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Michael Cohen’s Phone Being Wiretapped? NBC News said so, then corrected

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