KER Politics – Sat 2 Dec, 2017

ABC News corrects bombshell Flynn report

ABC News on Friday evening corrected an explosive special report that aired in the morning saying that Donald Trump, as a candidate for president, had asked Michael Flynn to make contact with Russians.

During “World News Tonight,” ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross said the source who had provided the initial information for his story later told him that it was as president-elect, not as a candidate, that Trump asked Flynn to contact the Russians.

The initial report, based on one anonymous source, prompted a dramatic reaction in the financial markets, and the Dow fell more than 350 points.

Stocks largely recovered later in the day.

The sharp slide in the stock market came within minutes of an ABC News report that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with Russians. 

CNN had reached out to ABC News in the early afternoon to ask why Ross’ initial reporting was not included in the network’s online story about Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

Several hours later, a spokesperson for the network told CNN that Ross would be issuing a “clarification” on “World News Tonight,” which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET.

“[A] clarification tonight on something one of Flynn’s confidants told us and we reported earlier today,” Ross said on the program. “He said the president had asked Flynn to contact Russia during the campaign. He’s now clarifying that saying, according to Flynn, candidate Trump asked him during the campaign to find ways to repair relations with Russia and other world hot spots. And then after the election, the president-elect asked him to contact Russia on issues including working together to fight ISIS.”

A tweet published by ABC News containing Ross’ initial report had been retweeted more than 25,000 times and embedded in various news stories online before it was deleted. ABC posted a “clarification” on Twitter around 8 p.m.

An ABC spokesperson said the network learned its initial reporting was incorrect at about 6 p.m. The network spokesperson declined to say if any disciplinary action would occur.

ABC’s decision to call its correction a “clarification” prompted immediate criticism.

“If we want to regain trust in the media, we need to admit our mistakes, especially when as consequential as this. Retract. Correct. Don’t use weasel words to describe it,” Jonathan Swan of Axios tweeted.

  1. On December 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm,
    CFS says:

    It is interesting to note the difference between the handling of Flynn and Manafort:

    A single charge was brought against Flynn, who agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team, stands in sharp contrast to the harsh case filed against Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his deputy, who refused to cooperate.
    They were charged Oct. 30 with a dozen counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
    Flynn was released Friday on his own recognizance. But Manafort’s lawyers this week asked a judge to approve a bail package that would allow him limited travel in exchange for pledging properties worth $11.6 million. Quite a difference.

    On a side note. I understand Hillary Clinton has recently bought a $200 Million estate in the Maldives. The Maldives are a nice place to visit, but for the Clintons, probably the biggest attraction may be that there is NO extradition treaty between the Maldives and the USA.

    • On December 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm,
      Big Al says:

      Isn’t that interesting.

      Will be curious to see what you thought of my recent editorial, just posted.


    • On December 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm,
      Donnie Moder says:

      Mueller is initially just charging Flynn for lying to the FBI and releasing him on his own recognizance, so he can squeeze Flynn for more information and if true, ratting out the Trump admin on other charges. If Flynn does not cooperate, Mueller is still allowed to charge Flynn and Flynn Jr. for other violations, such as performing foreign affairs with Turkey.

  2. On December 2, 2017 at 1:36 pm,
    CFS says:

    Reports are circulating that the Clintons have transferred 1.8 Billion dollars from the Clinton Foundation to the Qatar Central Bank, via a facilitation/abatement of JP Morgan Chase & Company for reasons not revealed.

    This move of such a large sum of money to the country of Qatar virtually guarantees no return of assets to Haiti, or duped donors and it gives the Clintons lots of funds if they have to live in exile.
    The country of Qatar happens to be one of a handful of countries that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, thus is another perfect place for her to run to in escaping justice. (Not as nice as the Maldives through; Qatar is too hot)

  3. On December 2, 2017 at 2:24 pm,
    CFS says:

    Way off topic: ELECTRIC Vehicles.

    We’ve probably been looking at Elon Musk and Tesla and wondering if he will succeed or go bankrupt. (I have anyway, since he seems to be linearly extrapolating the rate of scientific breakthroughs in technology out at least two years and possible three years into the future.) What is interesting to note, however, is how much other companies share his opinions……

    Volvo, the Swedish car-maker, has said that from 2019 all its cars will be hybrid electric or fully electric.
    Volkswagen will shortly be offering battery options across all models.
    Britain and France are making noises about banning production of all internal-combustion engine cars within two decades.

    Now Rolls-Royce has announce a teaming up with Airbus to produce electrically-assisted jet engines. Testing to begin in 020, with implementation pencilled in for adoption by 2030. (Rolls-Royce will be in collaboration with Siemens eAircraft)
    Pipestrel, a slovenian company, already makes a two-seater electric training plane.
    Considering that currently he energy storage density in hydrocarbon fuel is almost 100 times that of lithium batteries by weight, I hope Elon Musk is right about the rate of battery improvements.

    • On December 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm,
      jhpace1 says:

      We don’t need electric vehicles with copper-lead batteries! We need electric cars made with silver (the best electrical conductor), and generators with rare-earth magnets! We need to escape the Oil Age and foster the electromagnetic technologies sequestered by J.P. Morgan et al. A free energy device means that electric car becomes a true electric car, not an expensive toy tethered to a charging station by the clock.

  4. On December 3, 2017 at 6:17 am,
    CFS says:

    Off Topic: Back to Tax Cuts and deficits:

    On Friday, as the Senate debated its version of tax legislation, which it passed early Saturday, a rather different Republican Party was in full view. Once a party of conservative spending with economic growth, it has now morphed into an irresponsible party of unbalanced budgets, profligate spending and cares not about any financial collapse induced by the debt burden.
    “Republicans gained control of the House and Senate as well as the White House”, said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, an advocate for fiscal responsibility. Its all-inclusive control gave the party the leverage to focus on slashing tax cuts, rather than taking the sometimes painful steps required to curb the debt, which would likely do little on the eve of an election year to rally their donors and base of voters. The Joint Committee on Taxation concluded this week that, even with a bump in growth, the Senate tax bill as written at the time would swell the national debt by $1 trillion over 10 years.
    Upon the release of that conclusion, a spokeswoman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch dismissed it as “curious” and deserving of “further scrutiny.” The response suggests that Republican lawmakers are taking it on faith that the tax cuts will generate their own revenue. No leading economist agrees with this belief.
    In a survey released last week, the University of Chicago asked 42 top academic economists — including Nobel prize winners — whether they thought the tax cuts would expand the debt. All said the debt would be higher.

    Democrats now appear to be reveling in the irony of Republicans’ seeming indifference to the debt.
    In answering the survey, Austan Goolsbee, a former Obama economic adviser, summarized the Republican formula for economic growth this way: “Cut taxes. Lose money. Repeat.”
    If over the next decade, their tax plan would add at least $1 trillion to the national debt. That would be on top of an additional $10 trillion in deficits over the same period already being by forecast by the Congressional Budget Office. As a share of the economy, the national debt would be rising to levels last seen during the height of World War II.
    This borrowing spree would mark a sharp reversal for Republicans who made a career of sounding the alarm that mounting national debt would ultimately crush the economy and perhaps impoverish future generations. House Speaker Paul Ryan warned back in 2013 that endless deficits would “weigh the country down like an anchor. In short, we are on the verge of a debt crisis.”
    Does anyone doubt that this will be met with endless further printing of money ultimately causing a collapse in the value of the dollar?
    “When you don’t have to make legislative compromises and have things you want to do, it’s easy to set aside fears about the budget deficit,” Bixby said.
    The historically low U.S. interest rates that have prevailed for nearly a decade have made managing the debt less of a burden than in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan. What’s more, the U.S. economy has steadily improved as the unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. So any anxiety that deficits could stifle growth has lessened despite the rising debt.
    Rather than worry about the debt, President Donald Trump has been eager to increase it. He campaigned on the promise of extravagant tax cuts. And he welcomed the prospect of borrowing to finance them in hopes that the economy would start gushing with growth.
    “It’s called priming the pump,” he said in a May interview with The Economist magazine.
    In fact, the president pledged that economic growth propelled by the tax cuts would be so much more robust than the tepid average annual growth rates of roughly 2 percent of recent years that the deficits would start to fall after two years. His budget director, Mick Mulvaney, has gone so far as to argue that higher deficits are even necessary to produce sustained 3 percent annual growth.
    Unfortunately Mr. Trump has always been a New York closet-Democrat with a blind spot to debt, as his four personal company past bankruptcies have demonstrated, and echoes of Zimbabwe or Venezuela are nowhere on his radar.