Prominent South African Outlet Retracts Post Stating Mueller Report Found Evidence of Collusion

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 25, 2019Politics
Prominent South African Outlet Retracts Post Stating Mueller Report Found Evidence of Collusion
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller at the ceremonial swearing-in of FBI Director James Comey at FBI headquarters on Oct. 28, 2013. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A prominent South African media outlet said it retracted a Twitter post that falsely stated the conclusions of the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding the potential collusion of U.S. President Donald Trump and his campaign, but an article containing incorrect and misleading information still remained live on its website.

The Mail & Guardian bills itself as “South Africa’s oldest quality news source on the web and Africa’s first online newspaper” and has nearly one million followers on Twitter.

The publication issued an apology on March 25 for the incorrect tweet.

“An earlier tweet incorrectly stated that the Mueller report found evidence of collusion by President Donald Trump. This is incorrect and we apologize for the error,” the outlet stated.

The outlet didn’t explain how the mistake happened.

Despite the retracted tweet, the article about the report contained misleading information and an incorrect title as of 12:12 p.m. EDT.

The article, sourced from wire agency AFP, was billed with the headline: “Collusion, obstruction among key findings in Mueller report.”

In fact, the report did not find that Trump and those connected to his campaign committed any crime regarding allegations of colluding with Russia, according to a summary of investigative findings issued by Attorney General William Barr.

Barr also concluded that the special counsel didn’t provide enough evidence to substantiate the allegation that the president had obstructed justice.

NTD Photo
(Screenshot/Mail & Guardian)

The Mail & Guardian article also noted that a number of people were charged during the investigation, including Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, but did not make clear that none of the charges had anything to do with the principal allegation of collusion between members of Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Reacting to the article, some Twitter users noted that the headline was incorrect.

“This is a blatant lie,” said one.

“Why are you lying?” said another one.

Others reacting to the Mail & Guardian’s retraction noted that the AFP article was misleading and that the incorrect headline remained live hours after the apology.

Others wondered how exactly the incorrect tweet got posted.

“How did it happen? Obviously someone write [sic] the tweet and sent it. Was spurred them?” said one user.

“One would think you could’ve gotten something this important correct,” said another.

“The ultimate nightmare for a journalist; when the truth gets in the way of the story you hoped to write!” said another.

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