News outlets retract reports that FBI warned Giuliani of Russian influence campaign
The New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC News issued corrections on Saturday to clarify that Rudy Giuliani did not receive advance warning from the FBI that he was the target of a Russian influence campaign.
Why it matters: The corrections, which follow extensive reporting from the outlets to outline Giuliani's dealings in Ukraine, come after federal investigators searched Giuliani's apartment last week as part of a probe on whether his Ukraine lobbying on behalf of former President Trump broke federal law.
State of play: "An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation," read the Post's correction.
- "That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings."
According to CNN, NBC said its story "was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani."
The backdrop: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence found that Putin "had purview over" the activities of Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, a former associate of Giuliani — which included the two men meeting to discuss Biden's and his son Hunter's dealings in Ukraine.
- The FBI was made aware in late 2019 that Giuliani "was the target of a Russian influence operation aimed at circulating falsehoods intended to damage President Biden politically ahead of last year’s election," per the Post, which first reported the story.
- Giuliani denied any wrongdoing in a statement and argued the search warrants demonstrated a “corrupt double standard” from the Justice Department, per the Times.