President Donald Trump lashed out at NBC News after the outlet walked back its report that federal investigators wiretapped the phone lines of his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen as part of their investigations into him.
NBC News first reported on the alleged wiretapping Thursday, citing two people familiar with the legal proceedings related to Cohen. Cohen is under investigation for a $130,000 payment he made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who claims she had an affair with Trump. ABC News later confirmed the report.
But hours later, NBC issued a correction on air, citing three senior U.S. officials to say Cohen was not wiretapped. ABC, which posted a similar report on Thursday, also corrected its report. Federal officials were actually reportedly monitoring Cohen using a device known as a pen register, which logs phone numbers or Internet addresses that have been contacted.
The fumbled report came the day after Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s newest attorney, told Fox News that Trump repaid Cohen the $130,000 paid to Daniels, allegedly to keep her from speaking out about the affair. The news directly contradicts statements Trump made last month, when he said he had no knowledge of Cohen’s payments to the actress.
Giuliani was “furious” about the initial NBC report, according to The Washington Post’s Robert Costa.