The Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday both retracted false reports published this week that said the FBI had given Rudy Giuliani a defensive briefing warning him about being a target of Russian influence operations. The Post also reported One America News had also been briefed. Both Giuliani and OAN had denied the briefings took place.
The Washington Post hit piece was previously debunked by a TGP Factcheck article posted at this link.
WaPo original excerpt:
The FBI warned Rudolph W. Giuliani in late 2019 that he was the target of a Russian influence operation aimed at circulating falsehoods intended to damage President Biden politically ahead of last year’s election, according to people familiar with the matter.
The warning was part of an extensive effort by the bureau to alert members of Congress and at least one conservative media outlet, One America News, that they faced a risk of being used to further Russia’s attempt to influence the election’s outcome, said several current and former U.S. officials. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains highly sensitive.
“Correction: An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation. That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings.”
“Correction: May 1, 2021
An earlier version of this article misstated whether Rudolph W. Giuliani received a formal warning from the F.B.I. about Russian disinformation. Mr. Giuliani did not receive such a so-called defensive briefing.”
CNN’s Oliver Darcy posted a before and after of the Times article before the correction had been added.
Before and after in NYT’s story. The NYT story does not include a retraction or acknowledgment that the reporting on a defensive briefing was removed. https://t.co/EV5N7XXTSk pic.twitter.com/jpdAQ4QLKf
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 1, 2021
Anti-Trump former FBI officials repeated the smear:
Giuliani appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic on Friday to refute the smear:
“CORRECTION (May 1, 2021, 5:20 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article included an incorrect report that Rudolph Giuliani had received a defensive briefing from the FBI in 2019 warning him that he was being targeted by a Russian influence operation. The report was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani. As a result, the premise and headline of the article below have been changed to reflect the corrected information.”