ABC News Reprimands Top Producer For Leaking Election Night Data to Trump Campaign
While former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has a history of lying about interactions with the media, it seems that one of his latest accusations is true and has resulted in a top ABC News producer receiving disciplinary actions.
In Lewandowski’s book Let Trump Be Trump, which was co-written with former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie, he accuses ABC News’ Chris Vlasto of leaking election night polling info to the Republican candidate’s camp — despite it being designed for major media outlets only.
The president’s two allies detail the incident as follows:
“Vlasto had the early exit numbers that the consortium of news networks — the Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News — had collected. The consortium followed eleven battleground states, including Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Trump was down in eight of the eleven states by five to eight points. The news was devastating. A kill shot.”
After this book was released, Politico reports that Vlasto was confronted by ABC News on the matter and he admitted to such behavior. The information was especially sensitive as network’s pay millions of dollars to receive this exit polling data so they can be first to share it with audiences. Additionally, in the wrong hands, the data can misconstrued as final even though polls are still open.
“When we found out about this, we asked him about it. He admitted it and was reprimanded,” said an ABC News spokesperson to Politico — though, the exact consequences were not detailed.
It seems that the investigative producer may have had a reason behind sharing this information, as Vlasto was reportedly in the running for a communications position inside the Trump administration just after the election. However, he removed his name from consideration during the transition period.
The Vlasto news is especially bad for ABC News’ investigative reporting team as they just suffered from chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross falsely reporting on Michael Flynn and President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. That embarrassing error resulted in a four week suspension for Ross.
As for Lewandowski’s relationship with the media, he famously lied about forcefully grabbing reporter Michelle Fields at a campaign event and his since lied about the New York Times‘ Sopan Deb “literally crying” (he wasn’t) for thinking Hillary Clinton was in trouble at a debate.
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