Associated Press Deletes Tweet About Trump and Impeachment, Issues Correction

November 20, 2019 Updated: November 20, 2019

The Associated Press deleted a tweet that pushed false information about President Donald Trump on Nov. 20, the second time in two days the wire agency has been forced to significantly amend its reporting on Trump.

The agency, also known as the AP, wrote in a post on Twitter: “Contradicting the testimony of his own ambassador, President Trump says he wanted ‘nothing’ from Ukraine and says the #ImpeechmentHearings should be brought to an end.”

But Trump was quoting from what ambassador Gordon Sondland said during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

“I finally called the president… I believe I just asked him an open-ended question, Mr. Chairman,” Sondland told Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). “What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories and this and that. What do you want?”

U.S. Ambassador to EU Sondland arrives to tesitfy at House Intelligence Committee hearing on Trump impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill in Washington
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland takes his seat to testify before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 20, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

“It was a very short abrupt conversation, he was not in a good mood, and he just said, ‘I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing,’ something to that effect,” Sondland added.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Trump repeated Sondland’s words.

“Here’s my response that he gave—just gave. Ready? You have the cameras rolling? ‘I want nothing.’ ‘That’s what I want from Ukraine.’ That’s what I said. ‘I want nothing.’ I said it twice,” Trump said.

“Now, if you weren’t fake news, you’d cover it properly,” he added.

The AP later deleted its incorrect tweet.

“An earlier tweet that didn’t make clear that President Trump was quoting from Gordon Sondland’s testimony in which he was quoting Trump has been deleted,” the agency wrote.

It did not apologize for the error.

The Trump 2020 campaign highlighted the false reporting, writing that the AP’s tweet was “quite simply false and blatantly ignores what Sondland actually testified Trump said.”

The situation unfolded one day after the AP, wire agencies Reuters and AFP, and a slew of media outlets, deleted or significantly revised stories that reported a claim by a supposed expert that the Trump administration had detained 100,000 migrant children.

The media outlets took their figures from a U.N. report published Nov. 18, the author of which has since admitted the numbers are from a U.N. refugee agency report citing data from 2015.

That was during the administration of President Barack Obama.

The AP also did not apologize for circulating the number and attributing it to the Trump administration.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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