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After White House denial, CNN scrubs report on alarming leak from Biden's call with Ukrainian president

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Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Chaos erupted online after CNN ran with a leaked report about alleged statements President Joe Biden made to the president of Ukraine in a phone call amidst rising tension from the possibility of a Russian invasion.

Biden spoke with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday about the threat from Russia but a leaked report claimed that he told Zelensky an invasion was virtually certain and that the country should "prepare for impact."

Biden also told them that the capital of Kyiv could be "sacked" by the Russians, according to the disputed report.

That report was regurgitated by numerous CNN reporters, and covered by Jake Tapper on his show on the Cable News Network before the White House said the claims were false. He cited a Ukrainian official as a source for the story.

The official account for the "The Lead" tweeted the video of Tapper's report and then deleted it. Later, they reposted the video report and added that the White House had disputed the account.

A spokesperson for Zelensky released a statement backing the claims of the White House that the leaked report was untrue.

"Dear colleagues! Some reports regarding the content of the talks between Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Joe Biden have appeared on social media, citing the alleged 'senior Ukrainian official.' These messages are completely false," read the statement.

"Correct information can only be found in official releases from the Ukrainian and American sides. Everything else is suppositions and speculations," the statement continued. "In this troubled time, we ask you to treat every piece of information as responsibly as possible and publish only carefully verified data."

Here's the latest version of the story from CNN:

Christopher Miller of Buzzfeed News said that his source in Zelensky's office confirmed that the comments claimed by the leaked report were an accurate depiction of what Biden said on the call.

Some wondered if CNN had been forced by the White House to delete an accurate report.

"CNN either completely botched a report that could impact whether or not Russia invades Ukraine, Or they got it right and got bullied out of reporting truth by Biden admin. It was probably botched," tweeted Brent Scher of the Free Beacon. "Under last admin they would have stood by their garbage, but now they back down."

The confusion mirrored a previous statement that Biden made about the possibility of a Russian invasion that occasioned loud and frustrated push back from Ukrainian officials. White House press secretary Jen Psaki later walked back his comments.

Here's more about the tensions in Ukraine:

Biden needs to show Putin we are serious: Rep. McCaul www.youtube.com

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