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A protest group called "Hot Mess" holds up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of a New York federal courthouse. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

ABC News anchor Amy Robach was caught on a hot mic claiming that her network suppressed a bombshell sex trafficking story about Jeffrey Epstein three years ago, according to a video published by right-wing activist group Project Veritas.

The big picture: Project Veritas has been criticized for producing deceptively edited videos that target mainstream media and liberal organizations. However, Robach did not deny the accuracy of the video and said in a statement that she was "caught in a private moment of frustration" after an interview she conducted with one of Epstein's accusers was not aired due to a lack of "sufficient corroborating evidence."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying:

  • Robach: "As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn't air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC's editorial standards about her allegations. My comments about Prince Andrew and her allegation that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein's private island were in reference to what Virginia Roberts said in that interview in 2015. I was referencing her allegations — not what ABC News had verified through our reporting. The interview itself, while I was disappointed that it didn't air, didn't meet our standards. In the years since no one ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story."
  • ABC News: "At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since we've had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and 6-part podcast that will air in the new year."

Between the lines: The Robach video comes in the wake of claims by journalist Ronan Farrow that NBC News suppressed his reporting on allegations of sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein, a powerful film mogul with extensive media connections. NBC News has denied Farrow's allegations.

Go deeper: NBC News president calls Farrow cover-up allegations a "smear" in staff memo

Editor's note: NBC is an investor in Axios and Andy Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, is a member of the Axios board of directors.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.