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The Associated Press Makes Another Colossal Error — And This One’s Really Embarrassing

By  Joseph Curl

The Associated Press was once one of the most venerated news services on the planet.

Not anymore.

On Halloween, the AP ran a story with this headline (screen grab below): “President Trump’s first 3 children received birthright citizenship.”

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In the original story, the first paragraph said this: “CLAIM: Ivana Trump wasn’t a citizen until 1988. She gave birth to Don Jr. in 1977, Ivanka in 1981 and Eric in 1984. Therefore they received birthright citizenship, which Trump wants to end.”

As background, Trump has announced he plans to end the “ridiculous” policy that grants automatic citizenship rights to children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants or non-citizens. In an interview with Axios, Trump said “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States… with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

Almost immediately, the claim that some of his children were granted birthright citizenship emerged on social media.

The AP piece was part of a new program the wire service is doing jointly with Facebook. “The Associated Press reviewed this story after it was surfaced to third-party fact checkers as part of an initiative with Facebook to assess the accuracy of news content.”

Yes, the fact-checkers got the facts wrong.

At some later point, the AP changed the headline. “President Trump’s first 3 children did not receive birthright citizenship,” read the new headline. And the AP added this: “CORRECTION: The headline on this story has been corrected to show that Trump’s first three children did not receive birthright citizenship.”

But even in the corrected version, the AP deems the claim is a “mixture” of fact and fiction.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Mixture. It’s true that Ivana Trump was not a citizen until 1988, but the father of her children was a U.S. citizen and there would have been no special status needed to make them citizens.

Now, if you can understand how this is a “mixture” you’re much smarter than we are. It says very clearly that there was “no special status needed to make them citizens,” so how is that a mixture? The AP went on to say:

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a person can gain citizenship if “at least one parent, including an adoptive parent, is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization.” If Trump were to take away birthright citizenship, the Trump children would still be citizens because their father is a U.S. citizen.

The article — with the original headline — was posted on and remains on the site. A site moderator said: “AP originally published this article with the title seen in this post. They’ve since edited the title, which now contradicts the original. The mod team is electing to leave the article up, as we always do when the poster uses the correct title at the time of submission. Please read the article for the most complete information.”

When someone clicks on the article, the headline says the opposite, that the Trump children did not receive birthright citizenship. Go figure.

The AP has lately been running fast and loose with facts. Just this week, the wire service wrote this headline: “Trump says media is ‘Enemy’ after shooting, bomb plot.”

Here’s what Trump said:

“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame…” the first tweet said. The second finished the thought: “….of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!”

So Trump never “accused the media of being ‘the true Enemy of the People.” Instead, he said, “The Fake News Media” is “the true Enemy of the People.” There’s a big, big difference. But for some reason, the AP decided to omit that and instead claim that Trump said all media are the enemy.

And once again, the “fake news” media is simply proving Trump’s point.

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