White House Calls For Fox News Retractions Of Its Coverage Of Joe Biden Bribery Claims

The White House is demanding that Fox News retract or revise its coverage of claims that Joe Biden was involved in a multi-million dollar bribery scheme after the key witness in the allegation was indicted for making it all up.

In a letter to top executives, Ian Sams, White House spokesman for oversight and investigations, cited Fox News Digital stories on the bribery claims, including ones headlined “The Explosive New Evidence of Biden Family’s Breathtaking Corruption,” labeled an opinion piece from Gregg Jarrett, and “Joe Biden Allegedly Paid $5M By Burisma Executive As Part of Bribery Scheme, According to FBI Document,” a story from Brooke Singman. Other stories reported that the allegations came from a “highly credible” source.

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“I would cite the number of times Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity promoted this allegation and made false statements about President Biden on primetime television throughout this time period, but the footnote citations would fill multiple pages,” Sams wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Deadline.

Read the White House letter to Fox News.

The source of the allegation, Alexander Smirnov, was an FBI informant who was charged earlier this month with lying to his handler and falsifying records. He has plead not guilty. Prosecutors later said that Smirnov told them after his arrest that “officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story” about Hunter Biden, the president’s son, who he also claimed was involved in the bribery scheme.

“Despite this, Fox has taken no steps to retract, correct or update its reporting on this false allegation from 2023,” Sams wrote.

The letter, first reported by CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter, was sent to Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, Fox News President Jay Wallace and Washington Bureau Chief Bryan Boughton.

A Fox News spokesperson said, “Fox News Media has reported on all key developments since the announcement that Alexander Smirnov was charged with lying to the FBI, featuring the story prominently. We will continue to report on developments in all aspects of the ongoing investigations, hearings, and trials.”

While Fox News has reported on Smirnov’s arrest and legal proceedings, some of its hosts have not backed away from their coverage of the story. Jesse Watters said the Russia allegations were a “smear job” and suggested that it was part of a Biden administration pattern of targeting highly credible whistleblowers. Maria Bartiromo said on one of her shows, “I am just trying to understand how it is possible that you have got this person who is supposed to be a very important, trusted informant that the government can turn around and indict him? How are you going to get more whistleblowers to actually tell you what they know if they are afraid the DOJ is going to weaponize the agencies against them?”

In his letter, Sams wrote that the White House feels “strongly that all Fox News Digital articles on this topic should at a minimum be updated with editor’s notes informing readers that the source of this allegation has been federally indicted for making it up.” He also called on Fox News personalities to “inform their viewers on air that they have been sharing a discredited allegation” from Smirnov.

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