Daily Beast Corrects Story Claiming Nunes Wouldn’t Say if He Collaborated With WH on Memo

Devin Nunes / Getty Images

The Daily Beast corrected a recent story, which claimed that House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) refused to answer a question about whether he worked with the White House on his controversial memo, after an official transcript contradicted its original reporting.

"Devin Nunes Won’t Say If He Worked With White House on Anti-FBI Memo," wrote the Beast on Tuesday, reporting that "the House intel committee GOP leader refused to answer behind closed doors if he coordinated with the president’s team."

"During Monday’s contentious closed-door committee meeting, Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat, asked Nunes point-blank if his staffers had been talking with the White House as they compiled a four-page memo alleging FBI and Justice Department abuses over surveillance of President Trump’s allies in the Russia probe," the story read.

"According to sources familiar with the exchange, Nunes made a few comments that didn’t answer the question before finally responding, ‘I’m not answering,'" it continued.

The story received wide play on social media. But the following day, the official House Intelligence Committee transcript showed that Nunes actually answered the question about whether he worked with the White House earlier in the exchange.

"When you, as the majority, conceived of doing this memo for release to the body and to the public … was any of this done after/during conversations or consultations with anyone in the White House?" asked Quigley.

"Did you suggest it to them? Did you consult in deciding how to go forward with this before, during, and after this point right now?" he continued.

"I would just answer, as far as I know, no," Nunes responded.

The Beast was correct that Nunes then refused to answer a follow-up question from Quigley. But that follow-up was about whether any GOP staffers worked with the White House. Nunes said in response that he wouldn't "entertain" questions about other members and he noted Quigley's time had expired.

"Mr. Chairman, does that mean none of the staff members that work for the majority had any consultation, communication at all with the White House?" Quigley pressed.

"The chair is not going to entertain a question by another member [sic]," Nunes said. "Do any other members wish to be heard? Your time has expired."

After the release of the transcript, the Beast updated the piece to note Nunes' initial denial and changed the headline to "Did Devin Nunes Work With White House on Anti-FBI Memo? ‘Far as I Know, No.’"

At editor's note did not address the headline change, but clarified that Nunes hadn't responded to the indicated question with "I'm not answering" as its original report stated.

"While the substance of his remark was the same, the initial quote was inaccurate, as the meeting transcript released post-publication shows," reads the correction. "The Daily Beast regrets the error."