They won’t call it that if they can help it, but a retraction is what it is.
The Associated Press “clarified” a false claim it’s been running in stories about President Trump and Russia on Friday, conceding in a release it’s not the case that 17 intelligence agencies “agreed” on the hacking narrative.
The correction to four reports on Trump and Russia comes the same day The New York Times issued a similar correction to a Maggie Haberman report. Both The NYT and the AP now say the claim they’ve been floating for months is incorrect.
“The Associated Press reported that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump,” the AP stated, citing four specific reports from as early as April that made the assertion. “That assessment was based on information collected by three agencies – the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency – and published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which represents all U.S. intelligence agencies.”
And let’s talk about the NSA’s stance on Russia meddling with the election since they are the agency that would have the most data on what actually happened. The official word from the NSA is that they are “moderately confident” that Russia interfered in general, NOT that they interfered to assist Trump. Let’s unpack that. “Moderate confidence” in the intelligence world is not what it means in the civilian world. “Moderate confidence” is typically not actionable intelligence in the IA world whereas in the civilian world, if you’re moderately confident in something you’ll typically take a risk based on the information being true.