Candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents, according to an email provided to congressional investigators.
Since both of those caches had already been made public, The Post wrote that "Michael Erickson", who sent the email to the Trump officials, "may have simply been flagging information that was already widely available".
Washington (CNN) Correction: This story has been corrected to say the date of the email was September 14, 2016, not September 4, 2016. CNN later corrected its report.
President Donald Trump took a pointed shot at CNN and the media during his rousing speech at a Florida campaign rally on Friday night, blasting the cable news giant for a correction it issued hours before he hit the stage. Except. The Washington Post reported Friday afternoon that the email was actually dated September 14, 2016, and that it "indicates that the writer [identified as Michael Erickson] may have simply been flagging information that was already widely available". The story details an email received by Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Administration, linking them to Wikileaks' uploaded trove of hacked DNC emails.
CBS News published a photo of the email - which did not include any information on the date it was sent. Not quite, despite the fact that CNN cited multiple unnamed sources for the September 4 date.
CNN originally reported the email was released September 4 - 10 days earlier - based on accounts from two sources who had seen the email. An attorney for Donald Trump Jr. said they had never heard of a Michael Erickson. CNN then claimed it obtained a copy of the email, confirming the Post's reporting.
The fake news, nevertheless, had already made its way around the country, helped on its merry way by members of Congress.
It wasn't just CNN that carried the story, however.
ABC News' Brian Ross also had an issue with dates that cost him four weeks without pay. According the Post, he denied reports that he spoke to his father about a statement to the New York Times before the paper broke a story about the Russian lawyer. Based on the timeline presented by the report, a clearer case of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation could conceivably be made. This was actually discussed after the election when President-elect Trump was laying the diplomatic groundwork for his incoming administration.
CNN's error also comes on the heels of a major correction from ABC News.