Top 5 ‘Russia Collusion’ Stories That Didn’t Make It to Trump’s Fake News Awards

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from Sputnik News:

US President Donald Trump has unveiled a list of media publications that have won the so-called “fake news” awards for their erroneous coverage of his presidency.

In particular, Trump said the “Russia collusion” is a “total hoax,” although he gave no specific example of fake news coverage about his alleged ties with Russia. Sputnik has compiled a list of the five most memorable “RussiaGate” stories published by the US mainstream media  that could have made it to the list.

‘Russian Spy’ Kislyak

In March 2017, CNN ran a story under the headline “Graham, McCain want answers on Sessions-Russia report,” in which the outlet, citing unnamed US government officials, said that then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak was “considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry denied the claim, saying that Kislyak had served as Russian ambassador to the US since 2008 and there were no complaints against him from US authorities. According to the statement, as an ambassador, the efforts made by Kislyak in promoting “friendly ties” between the two countries had repeatedly been “acclaimed by both Moscow and Washington.”

“What is going on in the Western, particularly in the US media, is just some manifestation of media vandalism. First of all, it’s an attempt at total disinformation,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova commented on the report.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also noted that CNN reporters did not ask Moscow to confirm or deny their information. The story is still available on CNN’s website in its original version.

Report on Flynn’s Contacts With Russia

In December, ABC published a story which claimed, citing a “confidant”, that Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was ready to testify that Trump had asked him to contact Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

The broadcaster was quick to admit the mistake and issued an apology for the erroneous coverage. The original story was corrected as the source later reportedly clarified that during the campaign Flynn was asked to find ways to improve relations with Moscow.

“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process… Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

Claims on Trump Giving Secret Info to Lavrov

In May, The Washington Post suggested that Trump revealed classified informationon Daesh to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their meeting in Washington. Citing current and former US officials, the newspaper said the alleged disclosure “jeopardized a critical source of intelligence” on the terrorist group.

The claims were denied by both Washington and Moscow. Trump said that he had “an absolute right” to share with Russian facts on terrorism and air flight safety. The Kremlincalled the allegations “complete nonsense.”

In particular, Russian President Vladimir Putin said such reports were the result of “political schizophrenia” developing in the US.

The Washington Post has not corrected the story, however.

Russian Money for Election Campaigns

In November, BuzzFeed reported that the FBI was investigating “more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian Foreign Ministry to its embassies across the globe.” The outlet noted that most of the payments were sent with a note saying the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”

The publication was denounced by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which clarified that the money was intended to finance the organization of the 2016 Russian parliamentary elections in Russian embassies across the world.

The ministry also said that BuzzFeed did not ask Russian authorities for a comment, despite the fact that the outlet said it did.

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