It’s always the same pattern: Big Splashy CNN headlines followed weeks later by an inconspicuous debunking of the Big Splashy Headline.
That story followed on the heels of another CNN “exclusive” about how “Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin.”
This story began: “A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump’s victory last November, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.”
It went on: “Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal.”
Had CNN finally found evidence that Russia tried, and might have succeeded, in swinging the election for Trump?
It was up to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York to provide the relevant facts and context.
He found that of the 3,000 Russian ads that Facebook turned over to Congress, most of them ran after the election and so could hardly be part of any “meddling.” The vast majority didn’t mention the election or any candidate. A quarter of them weren’t seen by anybody.
What’s more, out of those 3,000 ads, only a tiny handful targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, nearly all of them ran in 2015 — well before Trump was nominated — and most had fewer than 1,000 impressions.
In other words, there was nothing to justify CNN’s treatment of the story.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia…
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefitting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.