July 31, 2021

Fake News: When the accuser is the perpetrator

President Donald Trump gave a misleading account of news reports regarding a previously undisclosed second conversation that he had had with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit.

The New York Times and Washington Post reported on July 18 — more than a week after the G-20 summit in Germany — that Trump and Putin had a “second, undisclosed, private conversation” at a dinner held for the G-20 leaders and their spouses on July 7.

Inconsistency 1: Secret dinner

The media did not describe the meeting as a “secret dinner”.

The media knew about the leaders-and-spouses dinner as it was on the public schedule.

Inconsistency 2: Press knew

The media knew about the leaders-and-spouses dinner as it was on the public schedule.

Reporters did not witness Trump and Putin talking because the dinner was off-limits to the press. They learned of it much later through the newsletter written by Ian Bremmer from the Eurasia Group: The meeting happened on July 7 but the media only reported on July 18.

Inconsistency 3: Fake news

President Trump does not provide any sources for his statements of “secret dinner” or “press knew”, and they do not reflect reality.

While media outlets have reported correctly, Trump’s tweet is fake news.