The Associated Press issued a “clarification” on Friday regarding articles it published on multiple days, from April through the end of June. Those articles claimed 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia not only tried to influence the 2016 presidential election but did so to benefit President Donald Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The clarification read:
WASHINGTON (AP) — In stories published April 6, June 2, June 26 and June 29, 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. 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. Not all 17 intelligence agencies were involved in reaching the assessment.
An article the Associated Press (AP) published on June 22 not only gave false information about the number of intelligence agencies cited in it but criticized Trump for questioning the reporting. Trump also pointed out that if any Russian hacking into the election took place, it took place when former President Barack Obama was in office.
“President Donald Trump appeared to cast doubt on the assessment of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that blame Russia for election meddling, questioning Thursday why the Obama administration didn’t try to stop it,” AP reported, then cited Trump’s tweet on the subject.
“By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin.,” the president tweeted. “Why didn’t they stop them?”
By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
“All 17 intelligence agencies have agreed Russia was behind the hack of Democratic email systems and tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Trump,” the AP article states. “The findings are at the heart of an investigation into contacts that members of Trump’s campaign team may have had with Russian officials during the campaign and the transition.”
At the very end of the article, AP notes that Trump wants to protect the election process in the United States.
“White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said … that while the president doesn’t think the election results were influenced by Russia, he has ‘made it clear that we have to protect the integrity of the electoral process.'”
The AP does not say how many of the 17 intelligence agencies it cited in its fake news story actually agreed on the Trump/Russia assessment.