Exclusive: Monica Crowley Vindicated by Columbia University After Fake Plagiarism Accusations from CNN, Establishment Media

Monica Crowley
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Treasury Department Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Monica Crowley has been vindicated by Columbia University after a years-long investigation ultimately concluded she did not plagiarize her thesis, despite allegations by CNN and other establishment media outlets that she did.

Crowley, now the Treasury Department’s top spokeswoman but previously a Fox News contributor, had been under consideration to join the National Security Council (NSC) in the White House at the very beginning of President Donald Trump’s administration under his first national security adviser, retired Gen. Mike Flynn. Then, allegations from CNN and Politico, among other publications, claimed that she plagiarized her 2012 book and her thesis at Columbia, sparking Columbia to launch a review of her thesis that has now concluded.

The review found Crowley did not commit research misconduct, and sources familiar with the investigation added that the university is “not disciplining her in any way.” The university also, the source familiar with the details of the investigation told Breitbart News, found no research misconduct by Crowley. She encourages the public to read her PhD dissertation—which is about U.S.-China relations—because it is a clearly newsworthy topic and added she is proud of her work.

“After CNN and other news outlets falsified my PhD dissertation by omitting nearly 40 footnotes, Columbia University began a process to review the work,” Crowley told Breitbart News on Friday afternoon. “I am delighted that they have concluded that there was no research misconduct, as I have maintained all along. I was also happy to address any inadvertent and honest errors and update the work. I am extremely proud of the dissertation, particularly given the fresh timeliness of its subject—the U.S.-China relationship—and hope that others will read and appreciate it.”

A source familiar with the matter told Breitbart News that the university’s use of the word “plagiarism” in its statement is a purely academic definition, and not the widely accepted use of the term.

“In 2017, concerns were raised about potential plagiarism in this dissertation,” Columbia University intends to state publicly about the review. “Columbia University conducted a formal research misconduct investigation into the allegations, in accordance with its Institutional Policy on Misconduct in Research. The investigation was completed in 2019. The investigation identified localized instances of plagiarism, but concluded that the preponderance of the evidence did not support a finding that Dr. Crowley committed research misconduct. For the dissertation to stand, the University required certain corrections, which Dr. Crowley has provided.”

In other words, the review did find she could have sourced a few things slightly more, and she has offered to make additional annotations—an offer the university has accepted, sources familiar with the matter told Breitbart News.

“They’ve accepted her offer to revise the dissertation with additional annotations,” a source with direct knowledge of the investigation’s details said. “The University has accepted that and concluded their investigation.”

Overall, the attacks from the establishment media—in particular CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and a separate Politico piece—which claimed she engaged in wide-scale plagiarism were deemed untrue by the Columbia University review. A source familiar with the investigation added that it seems as though the political biases of those in media behind these smears of Crowley were a driving motivator of the attacks against her.

“This all started because this CNN guy had an axe to grind against Trump and anybody affiliated with Trump,” the source, who is familiar with the details of the investigation, added. “At the time, Monica was being considered to be Flynn’s deputy at the NSC. Kaczynski went after Monica because she was an easy target and had a paper trail. Once it went into the news, Columbia had to do an inquiry. They did an inquiry and appointed a committee. Universities are like molasses, they take an enormous amount of time to do anything. This took a long time to do anything. At the end of the day, she was vindicated—there were some footnotes she could have done better, but these corrections are minor.”

A Trump administration official added that the media and American political left have shown their true colors throughout the administration’s tenure but that Crowley was “patient zero” in fake news attacks on Trump administration officials.

“Monica was patient zero in the ongoing war between the president and those on the left and in the media that wish to impede his agenda by any means necessary,” the administration official said. “Nothing is beneath these people and their derangement is so extreme that I expect they’ll be going through Monica’s trash next. I am beyond thrilled to see Monica vindicated by this review, and I look forward to watching as she continues to communicate the president’s outstanding economic agenda. She’s a fighter who will continue to fight on behalf of this president against the Fake News media, as well as in the best interests of the American people.”

Two former Trump White House officials added that the fake news media should be ashamed of themselves.

“The media and enemies of President Trump simply cannot stand a strong woman serving in the Administration, so they peddle fictitious allegations and outright lies with no regard for what is actually true,” one former White House official said. “Monica is a world class talent that serves her country well. We need more people like her, not less.”

“Monica is a driven and intelligent public servant whose name was senselessly under attack from day one of the administration,” a second former Trump White House official added. “This proves that she’s an effective messenger who poses a threat to the totally unhinged left who will stop at nothing to tarnish the name of anyone associated with the president. I’m glad that justice has prevailed as this marks another blow to the heart of the left and its manufactured resistance.”

UPDATE 3:30 P.M. ET:

After Breitbart News broke the news of Crowley’s vindication, the New York Times published its own story on the matter–which some GOP officials have noted does not cite the fact that Breitbart News broke this story before the Times:

The Times piece confirms all the same details that Breitbart News did about her vindication in particular about the finding that she did not engage in “research misconduct” and that she is updating several annotations in her thesis.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.