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Friday morning, ABC News ignored a story that broke overnight that revealed how some reporters were using unethical means to obtain and leak classified information about the Trump Administration. The Justice Department announced late Thursday that the former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, James Wolfe, was arrested and indicted for lying to the FBI about his leaking of information to the media. His primary contact? New York Times’ reporter Ali Watkins, whom he just happened to have a three-year romantic relationship with.
While NBC’s Today show and CBS’s This Morning reported on the story in a straightforward manner, ABC’s Good Morning America didn’t even have a brief mention of the story on their two hour program.
CBS - NBC - Reports - Story - White
Both CBS and NBC led their reports on the story by noting the White House was “cracking down” on leakers. CBS’s Jeff Pegues reported that Wolfe had been in contact with at least three journalists while he was head of the Senate Intelligence Committee:
Prosecutors say that Wolfe falsely claimed to FBI agents in an interview in 2017 that that he did not have contact with reporters. But according to an indictment unsealed late Thursday, investigators say that he had repeated contact with at least three reporters between 2015 and 2017.
Networks - Justice - Department - Wolfe - Information
Both networks noted that the Justice Department had confirmed that Wolfe was giving information to Times’ reporter Ali Watkins, after seizing her phone and e-mail records. The Justice Department’s investigation established a connection between certain stories being leaked and the dates where Wolfe and Watkins had exchanged a large number of messages and/or phone calls. Wolfe later admitted to having a three year romantic relationship with the Times’ reporter.
NBC’s Kristen Welker pointed out the paper defended their reporter and attacked the Trump Administration. However she also pointed out that this criticism also faced the Obama Administration:
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