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Brzezinski Slams CNN and Buzzfeed For Letting ‘Their Bias Get in the Way’ With Russia Reports

MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday has been wrestling with how to handle unverified reports that surfaced in the media yesterday evening, and cohost Mika Brzezinski called out two key media outlets for taking part in what she calls the same sort of behavior that many wrongly engaged with before the election.

Before President Barack Obama gave his farewell address in Chicago Tuesday night, there was a dizzying array of reports regarding President-elect Donald Trump and his connections to Russia. First, it a four-byline story from CNN: “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him,” from Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein. In it, CNN reports that both President-elect Trump and President Obama were presented with classified documents last week that suggested Russian intelligence had “compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.”

While the report admitted that the FBI was working to verify the credibility of the allegations contained in the two-page synopsis, the CNN quartet reported that the classified briefings were presented by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers. The CNN story broke shortly after 5 p.m. EST.

Then, at 6:20 p.m. EST, Buzzfeed’s Ken Bensinger, Mark Schoofs, and Miriam Elder published a dossier that has long been making the rounds within media newsrooms that others haven’t published due to their inability to corroborate the details contained in it. While it matches many of the details in the CNN report, Buzzfeed decided to publish the full 35 page document which makes “explosive — but unverified — allegations,” of the Kremlin’s support for Trump, in addition to sexual acts of a graphic nature.

The Trump team has been vehemently denying the contents of the Buzzfeed report; even Russia itself has said it has no such compromising information about the soon-to-be Commander in Chief. And Brzezinski even admitted that Morning Joe‘s conversation, however circuitous it was, could be contributing to part of the problem.

Brzezinski said Wednesday:

“When you can triple-source it, and you have evidence, then you have story. Right now there’s no story here. And I think the people who are going with it at this point — and even if we continue this conversation, we’re a part of it — but the two outlets that are actually going with it and releasing it are continuing to make the same mistakes they made in the run up to this election: which is to let their bias get in the way of actually finding out what the facts are and putting them out there.”

She continued in her assessment, “This whole thing has felt wrong from the beginning of this show.”

Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith defended the site’s decision to publish the dossier, writing in a memo to his staff, “Publishing this document was not an easy or simple call, and people of good will may disagree with our choice. But publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017.”

Watch above via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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