While suspicious packages and bombs were sent to a variety of locations this week — including the house of former presidents Clinton and Obama, and CNN — the White House did not receive a suspicious package.
The U.S. Secret Service tweeted at 11:08 AM, “at this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages 0 one in NY and one in D.C. Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the WH are incorrect.” The first two packages were addressed to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, respectively.
CNN and Reuters both reported the false claim.
CLARIFICATION: At this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages – one in NY and one in D.C. Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the WH are incorrect. We refer media to our statement: https://t.co/lJdTn04KmI
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) October 24, 2018
CNN’s live updated report on the packages and threats mentions the Secret Service update. “CNN was initially told there was a package addressed to the White House that was being examined at the offsite processing facility that handles White House mail,” CNN reported.
Its original report said “another suspicious package with a device addressed to the White House was intercepted at Joint Base Bolling in Washington, DC. ”
CNN host Jake Tapper also deleted a tweet about the claim. iMediaEthics has written to CNN to ask if any other tweets were deleted or corrected, and if the inaccurate claim was broadcast.
I’ve deleted the tweet about a suspicious package sent to the WH — @evanperez says law enforcement confusion led to that inaccurate report. Packages for WH and the Obamas are screened at the same place. So to clarify: law enforcement says no suspicious package sent to WH.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 24, 2018
Reuters also reported the claim of a suspicious package addressed to the White House, CNBC reported. A Reuters spokesperson told iMediaEthics by e-mail,
“We reported an administration source saying a suspicious package had been intercepted. That same source soon afterwards told us the information provided previously was inaccurate, so we sent customers an alert and an urgent story saying that no suspicious package had been addressed to the White House. That story noted the source’s earlier inaccuracy.”