NPR adds editor's note on Donald Trump Jr. Russia project - iMediaEthics
Menu

Home » Errors»

(Credit: NPR)

NPR added a lengthy editor’s note to its Nov. 30 news report about former Pres. Donald Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen and Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony concerning Russia. The article originally reported that Trump Jr. said “negotiations on one project concluded by the end of 2014,” even though Cohen said, in his November guilty plea, that wasn’t the case regarding Russia. However, as the editor’s note admitted, Trump Jr’s comments that were referenced weren’t the same as the ones Cohen was talking about.

“In fact, Trump Jr. and investigators were alluding to a different set of negotiations — not to a deal that Cohen was reportedly pursuing. Trump Jr. did acknowledge in his testimony that Cohen and another man were exploring a possible deal in Moscow in 2015 or 2016,” the editor’s note reads. “Trump Jr. did not address what Cohen has now admitted — that talks about such a deal continued at least into June 2016, longer than previously known and well into the presidential campaign.”

The Nov. 30 article was headlined, “Cohen’s Account of Russia Talks Raises Questions about Trump Jr. 2017 Testimony.”

iMediaEthics has written to NPR to ask for more information about how the error occurred.

NPR’s public editor Elizabeth Jensen wrote a blogpost explaining the error was the result of moving too quickly. “The report in question was meant to broaden ‘the aperture of what people in this affair have told Congress,’ Philip Ewing, the author of the piece, told me,” she wrote. “When he reviewed Trump Jr.’s testimony, however, he missed that in his Senate testimony Trump Jr. discussed two different real estate negotiations.”

Jensen explained that Ewing, who wrote the piece, is also an editor, and other staff “most familiar with the story were unavailable, for varied reasons, to give the piece the thorough scrutiny needed for any story, especially with such high-profile matters.”

The NPR editor’s note reads:

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this report mischaracterized an answer Donald Trump Jr. gave to Senate investigators in 2017 about the prospective projects his family was negotiating with people in Moscow.

The story reported that Trump Jr.’s response — that negotiations on one project concluded by the end of 2014 — contrasted with the version of events as laid out in the guilty plea by Michael Cohen on Thursday. In fact, Trump Jr. and investigators were alluding to a different set of negotiations — not to a deal that Cohen was reportedly pursuing. Trump Jr. did acknowledge in his testimony that Cohen and another man were exploring a possible deal in Moscow in 2015 or 2016.

Trump Jr. did not address what Cohen has now admitted — that talks about such a deal continued at least into June 2016, longer than previously known and well into the presidential campaign.”

Submit a tip / Report a problem

NPR adds editor’s note on Donald Trump Jr. Russia project

Share this article:

Comments Terms and Conditions

  • We reserve the right to edit/delete comments which harass, libel, use coarse language and profanity.
  • We moderate comments especially when there is conflict or negativity among commenters.
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *