Dean Baquet Says NY Times Failed to Verify Giuliani Story

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New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet acknowledged his paper failed to verify the allegations contained in a since-corrected Thursday story about Rudy Giuliani.

“We weren’t rigorous enough,” Baquet said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I think we all tend to drop our guard when we get beat and are trying to catch up. We need to grill sources more to make sure we understand exactly what they’re confirming. We’ve all discussed it, corrected it, and we need to do better. Dealing with anonymous sources in law enforcement and intelligence is always hard.”

The comments came after publications including the Times, Post, and NBC News over the weekend retracted a claim that Giuliani was once briefed by FBI counterintelligence officials that he was the alleged target of a Russian disinformation campaign. Subsequent reports indicated the FBI failed to provide Giuliani with such a briefing, citing “complicating factors.”

The agency’s criminal division raided Giuliani’s apartment last month, without warning, as part of an investigation into his ties with Ukrainian officials.

The report Baquet referenced — authored by Times reporters Ben Protess, William Rashbaum, and Kenneth Vogel cited unnamed “people with knowledge of the matter.” A May 1 correction said the report “misstated” whether Giuliani received a briefing from the FBI, clarifying that he never received “a so-called defensive briefing.”

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