There’s something odd about the explanation The New York Times offered for standing by a blockbuster report that former FBI Director James Comey characterized as “almost entirely wrong” in testimony before Congress Thursday.
“Would it be fair to characterize that story as almost entirely wrong?” Republican Sen. Tom Cotton asked Comey during the hearing. “Yes,” Comey replied. And at another point in the hearing he said of the report, “in the main it was not true.”
The paper of record reported Feb. 14 that U.S. intelligence officials had intercepted repeated communications between the Trump campaign and senior Russian intelligence officials in the year leading up to the election, based on accounts from four former and current U.S. officials. The news firmly planted the as yet totally unsubstantiated narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the election in his favor.
Despite Comey’s strongly worded statements, The NYT announced Friday it had completed a review of the facts and would stand by the report in its entirety. The three reporters behind the story offered a dubiously reasoned explanation as to why in a separate piece that includes an odd admission about the review process — no one was able to get in touch with the original sources.
“The original sources could not immediately be reached after Mr. Comey’s remarks, but in the months since the article was published, they have indicated that they believed the account was solid,” the reporters wrote. (Read more from “NYT Offers Totally Inadequate Defense of Story Comey Says Is False” HERE)