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PolitiFact corrects conservatives: The NYT Kavanaugh story has not been debunked

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The new report from The New York Times on the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh contained some stunning new revelations — including that several people tried to contact the FBI to corroborate Deborah Ramirez’s assault allegation but were ignored, and that prominent attorney Max Stier alleges he saw Kavanaugh take part in a third assault.

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But conservative news sites are now running with the idea that the Times article has been discredited and that the paper has retracted its claims. PJ Media, a prominent right-wing site, ran the headline “New York Times Now Admits New Kavanaugh Accusation Is Fake News.”

On Wednesday, PolitiFact dropped the hammer on this narrative. There may have been some editorial missteps in how the Times rolled out the story, and there was a key fact omitted from Stier’s allegation — but nothing reported in the story was factually inaccurate.

At issue specifically is one line that was meant to appear in the paragraph detailing Stier’s story that was mistakenly deleted and later added back in — and which contextualizes the charge: “the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the episode.” This doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t happen — it was decades ago and she was intoxicated at the time — but the fact the alleged victim cannot corroborate the story herself is clearly something that should be noted.

Mistake though it may have been, PolitiFact noted, this is not the same thing as saying the entire story is “fake news.”

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“As the above text shows, the Times’ explanation may call Stier’s allegation into question. But nowhere does the Times admit it peddled ‘fake news,’ which gives the impression of having misled its readers,” wrote PolitiFact. “For their part, Times’ reporters [Kate] Kelly and [Robin] Pogrebin appeared on MSNBC and said the additional details were included in their original draft but were omitted as a result of an editing error. ‘There was zero intent to mislead anybody about the details of the incident,’ Kelly said.”

“The Times also did not retract the article or the specific allegation against Kavanaugh, as PJ Media said,” continued PolitiFact. “A retraction would include removing the allegation entirely because it cannot be corroborated. The source of this allegation is Max Stier, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s.”

“The Times has not retracted its reporting on the allegation or admitted it was incorrect,” concluded PolitiFact. “Sites claiming so have gone too far.”

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‘Worse than Obama’: Lindsey Graham has full-blown freak out over Trump’s latest Syria statements

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday had a full-blown freak out after President Donald Trump publicly said that the Turkish slaughter of the Kurds in northern Syria was not America's problem.

Writing on Twitter, the senator had his harshest condemnation yet of the president's decision to abruptly pull American troops out of Syria while giving Turkey a green light to invade the area.

"I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkeys invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won’t come back to haunt us, ISIS won’t reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision," Graham wrote. "However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq."

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Ex-GOP lawmaker will run for Senate in Kansas — as a Democrat

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A Kansas state lawmaker who left the Republican Party last year will run next year for the U.S. Senate -- as a Democrat.

State Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills) will run for the seat held since 1997 by the retiring Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), reported the Associated Press.

Republicans have not lost a U.S. Senate race in Kansas since 1932, but Democrats are feeling more confident with the victories last year of Gov. Laura Kelly and Rep. Sharice Davids.

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Trump waves off deaths in Syria: The Kurds are ‘no angels’

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to leave Syria by saying the Kurds are "no angels."

Trump made the remarks during a White House meeting.

"They are no angels, by the way," he was quoted as saying about the Kurds.

Republicans have accused Trump of betraying a U.S. ally by abandoning the Kurds to be crushed by Turkish forces in Syria.

Read some of the reports below.

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