The Hill can’t stop advancing Trump’s lies about the whistleblower


Citation Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

The Hill’s Twitter account has repeatedly pushed President’s Donald Trump’s lie that the whistleblower who filed a complaint about Trump’s scandal-plagued call to Ukraine’s president “gave a false report.” But the outlet itself has reported that the complaint “included details that matched up” with the incomplete transcript of the call released by the White House.

On Sunday afternoon, The Hill tweeted a short snippet of Trump claiming “the whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false stories,” providing no context for its audience. The account sent out this tweet at least four times through Monday morning.

Also Sunday evening, The Hill tweeted a slightly longer video clip of Trump claiming “the whistleblower gave a false report” and “made up a story” -- again, with no context. The Hill posted this tweet at least five times through Monday morning.

On Monday afternoon, The Hill tweeted another video of Trump claiming, “I think the whistleblower gave a lot of false information.” This context-free tweet was sent at least four more times through Tuesday morning.

CNN reporter Daniel Dale, who has been fact-checking Trump’s claims on Twitter in real time for years, noted that Trump’s lie that “the highly accurate whistleblower was totally/mostly wrong” is “by far the most frequent individual false claim” Trump has made about his abuse of power regarding Ukraine.

Multiple mainstream news organizations have demonstrated that most details in the whistleblower’s complaint have been confirmed by the incomplete transcript released by the White House as well as other documents and reporting. Even The Hill’s own reporting on this issue makes clear that Trump is lying:

Trump has long accused the whistleblower of providing a misleading account of his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and highlighted that the complaint relied on second-hand accounts of other people.

The whistleblower, whose identity remains unknown and who is subject to protections under federal law, alleged that Trump was using his official position to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election, a claim that Trump has rejected. The complaint included details that matched up with the official transcript of the call.

The Hill’s 14 tweets that uncritically pushed Trump’s lie about the whistleblower even though its own reporting shows it’s a lie underscores the outlet’s demonstrated pattern of passing on misinformation from Trump and those close to him through its Twitter feed more than any other major media outlet.