Headlines Tout Trump’s False Claim That Intel Briefing “Was Delayed,” Omitting Intelligence Community’s Pushback

Multiple outlets pushed President-elect Donald Trump’s false claim on Tuesday, January 3, that an intelligence briefing had been “delayed until Friday” because officials “needed” extra time “to build a case” regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election. While some outlets noted in their headlines that intelligence officials have said that there was never a briefing scheduled for January 3, many others simply framed their headlines around Trump’s false claim that the briefing had been “delayed.”

Trump Claims Intelligence Briefing On “So-Called” Russian Meddling In 2016 Election “Was Delayed Until Friday”

Trump: “The ‘Intelligence’ Briefing On So-Called ‘Russian Hacking’ Was Delayed Until Friday, Perhaps More Time Needed To Build A Case. Very Strange!”

[Twitter, 1/3/17]

Officials Say Intelligence Briefing “Was Never Scheduled To Occur Tuesday,” And “Was Always Scheduled For Friday”

Wash. Post: Intelligence Official “Disputed That There Had Been Any Delay In Delivering The Briefing” And Said “Officials Are Scheduled To Meet With” Trump “On Friday.” According to The Washington Post, an official said that the intelligence briefing regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election “was never scheduled to occur Tuesday,” “and that plans for a fuller Friday briefing have been in place for several days.” From the January 4 article:

A U.S. official disputed that there had been any delay in delivering the briefing that Trump requested on Russia, saying that high-level U.S. intelligence officials are scheduled to meet with the president-elect in New York on Friday.

The official said that Trump did receive a regular intelligence briefing on Tuesday, and raised the possibility of confusion on the part of his transition team or schedulers.

“It's possible that his team has some scheduling disconnect” and that “whatever he received today didn't meet his expectations,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters. But, the official said, the fuller briefing on Russia's alleged election hacking was never scheduled to occur Tuesday, and that plans for a fuller Friday briefing have been in place for several days.

The officials expected to take part in that session include Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey and the head of the National Security Agency, Adm. Mike Rogers. [Washington Post, 1/4/17]

New York Magazine: Trump’s “Meeting With The Heads Of The NSA, CIA, And FBI, And The Director Of National Intelligence Was Always Scheduled For Friday.” New York magazine noted “a senior intelligence official told NBC News that the president-elect’s meeting with the heads of the NSA, CIA, and FBI, and the director of national intelligence was always scheduled for Friday.” [New York magazine, 1/4/17]

But Some Outlets Framed Their Headlines Around Trump’s False Claim

USA Today:

[USA Today, 1/4/17]


[Politico, 1/4/17]

CBS News:

[CBS News, 1/3/17]

NY Times:

[The New York Times, 1/3/17]

Wash. Examiner:

[Washington Examiner, 1/3/17]


[The Wall Street Journal, 1/3/17]

RT America:

[RT America, 1/4/17]

While Other Outlets Proved It’s Possible To Provide Proper Context

Some Outlets Mentioned In Headlines That U.S. Officials Pushed Back Against Trump’s Claim. Some outlets included the response from the United States intelligence community to Trump’s claim in their headlines:

[The Washington Post, 1/4/17; Business Insider, 1/3/17; New York magazine, 1/4/17]