Left-Wing Funder Bankrolls News Sites That Leaked Trump-Duterte Phone Transcript


TEL AVIV – The Intercept website and a Philippine news outlet that collaborated to publish an alleged transcript of President Donald Trump’s private phone call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte are both directly tied to liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Omidyar’s nonprofit, the Omidyar Network, also funds the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. IFCN has partnered with Facebook to help determine whether certain stories should be flagged as “disputed.”

Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, while the Omidyar Network itself has partnered with Soros’s Open Society on numerous projects and given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.

The Intercept published the transcript in which Trump reportedly told Duterte that he was doing an “unbelievable job” in reducing his country’s drug problem and called Duterte a “good man.” Parts of the transcript were also published by the Washington Post.

In its characterization of the phone call, the Intercept claimed that “Trump offered an unqualified endorsement of Duterte’s bloody extermination campaign against suspected drug dealers and users, which has included open calls for extrajudicial murders and promises of pardons and immunity for the killers.”

The Intercept reported that it collaborated with the Philippine news outlet Rappler on the story and “well-placed sources at the Palace and the Department of Foreign Affairs” confirmed the transcript’s authenticity to the Rappler.

The Intercept story contained the following “disclosure” about Omidyar:

Omidyar Network is an investor in Rappler, an independent news organization based in the Philippines. The Intercept’s publisher, First Look Media, was founded by Pierre Omidyar.

The Omidyar-funded IFCN recently drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook announced it will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to the code of principles.

Facebook says that if the “fact checking organizations” determine that a certain story is fake, it will get flagged as disputed and, according to the Facebook announcement, “there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.”

Besides its funding for the so-called fact-checker partnered with Facebook, Omidyar also provided the seed donation for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – whose chief has baselessly smeared Breitbart News with claims of anti-Semitic associations – to build a Silicon Valley command center purportedly aimed at combating online hate.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With research by Joshua Klein.


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