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CNN forced to correct story after Comey’s testimony contradicts reporting

CNN was forced to correct a story reporting former FBI Director James Comey would not corroborate President Donald Trump’s claim that he was told he was not under investigation. In fact, Comey’s testimony shows he told Trump on three separate occasions that the president was not personally under investigation. (2000 file photo/David McNew/Newsmakers)

If there ever was an event designed for CNN, it would be fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday before Congress. The network has covered all the news that’s fit to print on the Comey saga — and that now includes a correction.

A CNN story posted Tuesday with four bylines originally featured the headline: “Comey expected to refute Trump,” the Washington Post reported. The CNN report erroneously suggested that during testimony Thursday the former FBI director would dispute President Donald Trump’s claim that he was told multiple times he was not being personally investigated by the FBI or the Justice Department.

The network’s report — filed by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Jake Tapper, Eric Lichtblau, and Brian Rokus — cited an unnamed source claiming that Comey’s conversations with Trump “were much more nuanced” and that the president drew the wrong conclusions.

Borger, CNN’s chief political analyst, took an even bolder stance during an on-air appearance.

“Comey is going to dispute the president on this point if he’s asked about it by senators, and we have to assume that he will be,” she said Tuesday. “He will say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so.”

That, however, was proven to be untrue when the Senate Intelligence Committee released Comey’s opening statement Wednesday afternoon.

In fact, Comey detailed three separate occasions — a Jan. 6 briefing, a Jan. 27 dinner, and a March 30 phone call — when he told Trump he was not being investigated.

Comey's statement corroborates Trump’s claim in a May 10 letter explaining Comey’s firing that the ex-FBI chief privately acknowledged “on three separate occasions” that the president was not personally under investigation.

The former director's words forced CNN to correct its story. After the opening statement was released, the news network issued the following correction:

This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement. The article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation in his prepared testimony released after this story was published.

The new headline reads: “Comey unlikely to judge on obstruction.”

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