President Donald Trump's Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on Thursday posted a statement via Twitter attacking a CNN report by claiming "this story contains inaccurate information." It did not specify what the "inaccurate" information was.
The ODNI is headed by the Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, a Trump loyalist who has come under scrutiny for being unqualified to hold that position.
The story the ODNI is attacking is a bombshell that destroys President Donald Trump's claim that no one could have predicted the impending coronavirus pandemic, along with other administration falsehoods. It says: "US intelligence agencies started tracking coronavirus outbreak in China as early as November."
As we told CNN earlier today, this story contains inaccurate information. https://t.co/cFb2q1Cvr4— Office of the DNI (@Office of the DNI)1586476092.0
The CNN report also exposes the Trump administration's horrific mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. Recent news reports have shown Trump had 70 days to take action to protect America from the coronavirus but instead chose to wage a PR campaign falsely claiming the nation was not at risk, and that everything was under control. The CNN report extends that timeline by over a month, meaning Trump and his administration had more than three months to take decisive action but did not.
But CNN was not the first to report that US Intel was aware of what would become known as the COVID-19 outbreak in November. ABC News first broke the story one day prior to CNN's report – noting that U.S. Intelligence officials had briefed the White House as far back as November.
“cataclysmic event” briefed “multiple times” to Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Staff and White House in 2019 https://t.co/gedbavXcR0— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GeorgeStephanopoulos)1586334599.0
Former Pentagon Press Secretary and former CIA Spokesman George Little weighed in, accusing the ODNI of attempting to smear CNN for political purposes.
As former @CIA spokesman, this assertion strikes me — and I’m sure a lot of other Americans — as simply not credibl… https://t.co/COvxNlivpg— George Little (@George Little)1586481480.0
Politico's Cybersecurity reporter Eric Geller adds:
@georgelittledc @nycsouthpaw @CIA @CNN the really remarkable thing about the tweet is that it's intentionally obtus… https://t.co/3Tlq2XDmhG— Eric Geller (@Eric Geller)1586482260.0
Economist David Rothschild blasted Grenell as a "partisan hack & known liar."
I am not fan of @CNN (leaders in false equivalency, a hard-core pro-Republican bias), but they are much more reliab… https://t.co/sLDcRJTNCP— David Rothschild (@David Rothschild)1586476949.0