The story, first reported by the
New York Times, became a staple of Democratic talking points against Trump. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris used it to argue throughout the campaign that Trump did not care about the welfare of the troops.
However, the Biden administration
admitted Thursday that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence that the story was true after all.
Washington Post gave Trump “ four Pinocchios” — its most severe rating — when he pushed back on the story.
On Thursday, the
Post added an update to its original article, but retained the four-Pinocchio rating, saying — falsely — that Trump had “denied that the intelligence reports of bounties existed,” which remained false.
However, Trump did not deny such reports existed. Instead, he said that the “issue” was “fake news,” and that any reports about bounties “never reached my desk.”
The latter claim is disputed. The
Times — the original source of the now-discredited “Russian bounties” story — reported in November that Trump had received a “written briefing” to the president in February 2020 about the intelligence reports.
The Trump administration denied that he had been briefed, which may have been a reference to an oral briefing. “He was not personally briefed on the matter,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at the time.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, . His recent book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election RED NOVEMBER , tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.