The implication, of course, is that the email was another bit of evidence that the Trump campaign was secretly in cahoots with Wikileaks during the election. Last Friday, ABC News' Brian Ross reported based on one source that Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that as a candidate Trump instructed him to make contact with Russians.
CNN reported Friday that congressional investigators are interested in an email Trump Jr. received on September 4, 2016, that included an encryption key and link to a website with leaked emails from former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
CNN originally reported an email from Trump Jr. was sent 10 days later, a factual inaccuracy that led to a false timeline and essentially, fake news.
So, two of CNNs ace political reporters managed to write a bombshell story, which presumably made it through at least one round of edits, and was also probably reviewed by the networks legal department, without anybody double-checking the date of the email - the crux of the entire.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, downplayed any connection to the email, tweeting, "It's not clear what this has to do with @wikileaks".
Trump Jr.'s attorney, Alan Futerfas, initially claimed that his client did not remember the email, but after CNN published its story he released a statement: "We do not know who Mike Erickson is".
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CNN corrected its story at 3:45 p.m. ET.
Before the correction, the story - which relied on multiple sources who described the email to CNN - had been heavily promoted by the network.
CNN has corrected a story that suggested the Trump campaign had been tipped off early about Wikileaks documents damaging to Hillary Clinton when it later learned the alert was about documents already publicly available. The DNC files shared with Trump Jr. via a link and a "decryption key" on September 14, 2016, had been posted online and advertised on Twitter by WikiLeaks the day before. "The email was not sent until 10 days later, after the Wikileaks documents were already public". All of this information was public and it was The Washington Post who reported on this trip up.
CBS News published a photo of the email - which did not include any information on the date it was sent.
In addition to Trump Jr., it was sent to a rarely used address for Donald Trump, as well as Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen and a Gmail account that had been sometimes used by Hope Hicks.