President Trump met with Wayne LaPierre, President of the National Rifle Association, at the White House on Friday. This isn’t particularly big news; “President meets with political ally” is about as yawn-inducing a headline as a paper could produce.
So the Times decided to spice it up, reporting that “in return for” the NRA’s support, LaPierre asked the president to “stop the games” over gun control legislation. Such a quid pro quo, if agreed upon, is theoretically illegal, although the lines are awfully thin. Groups and individuals constantly support politicians because the politicians do things they want; why else would they?
Still, the Times thought they had another viable anti-Trump headline, and Trump-hating White House reporter Maggie Haberman featured the “in return for” claim in a Tweet, calling it a “scoop”:
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) September 27, 2019
But then, behind the scenes, the story apparently fell apart. Twitchy recounts how the Times changed its story sub silentio to remove the quid pro quo claim–the only thing that made it a story in the first place. So far, however, the paper has not acknowledged the change and has not issued a correction or an “editor’s note.” Just another day in the campaign to smear President Trump, I guess.
It is highly unlikely that the Times has a plant inside the NRA, so in all probability its story was based on a leak from one of the Democratic Party loyalists who remain embedded in the White House. Such disloyal bureaucrats are the source for most of the Times’s “news” stories these days. One problem is that their accounts so often turn out to be incorrect. That was the case with the “whistleblower” who was completely wrong about President Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian President, and apparently it was the case here, too. It makes you wonder how many more of the Times’s leak-based stories are wrong, but go uncorrected.