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CNN’s Jim Acosta gets fact about intelligence community’s Russia assessment wrong, calls it ‘fake news’

by Eddie Scarry • Washington Examiner

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CNN correspondent Jim Acosta erred on Thursday when he said it was “fake news” for President Trump, speaking Thursday in Poland, to state that it was “three or four” intelligence agencies who concluded that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election.

Speaking on CNN’s “New Day,” Acosta wondered where Trump got the “three or four” figure, though it has been reported that out of 17 agencies, only the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency have formally drawn the conclusion about Russia.

“The other thing that was ‘fake news’ coming from President Trump is when he said, well, I keep hearing it’s 17 intelligence agencies that say Russia meddled in the election, I think it’s only three or four,” Acosta said. “Where does that number come from? Where does this ‘three or four’ number come from? My suspicion … is that if we go to the administration and ask them for this question, I’m not so sure we’re going to get an answer.”

The New York Times last week, however, prominently corrected its own reporting on the matter.

In a story about Trump’s “deflections and denials about Russia,” it originally stated that “17 American intelligence agencies” concluded Russia had interfered in the election.

The Times’ subsequent correction said “the assessment was made by four intelligence agencies” and “not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”

Trump was asked about Russia and the election during a press conference in Poland. Asked by a reporter if he would definitively state that Russia had interfered, Trump said yes and went on to distinguish it was “three or four” intelligence agencies to weigh in on the issue, rather than the previously reported 17.