*Please scroll to the bottom for an update to this story*

Earlier this month, the Trump campaign released a hard-hitting ad criticizing Joe and Hunter Biden’s China ties. It’s an ad that set the stage for the US-China relationship as *the* major campaign issue in the months to come, thanks in large part to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

The Biden campaign tried to counter the ad with one of its own, but it backfired spectacularly after his own side accused the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee of “xenophobic” attacks on China much in the same way Biden himself used the line on Trump after he implemented China travel restrictions in late January.

So with attacks from both campaigns against each other on China ramping up, how has the mainstream media reacted?

By siding with Biden, of course, which is exactly what Politico did on Friday with a supposed blockbuster piece that Democrats immediately painted as nullifying Trump’s China attacks on Biden.

In an article originally titled “Trump owes tens of millions to the Bank of China — and the loan is due soon,” they set the stage in the opening paragraphs:

Donald Trump is warning “China will own the United States” if Joe Biden is elected president.

But Trump himself is tens of millions of dollars in debt to China: In 2012, his real estate partner refinanced one of Trump’s most prized New York buildings for almost $1 billion. The debt includes $211 million from the state-owned Bank of China — its first loan of this kind in the U.S. — which matures in the middle of what could be Trump’s second term, financial records show.

Here’s how the piece looked when it first went live:

https://web.archive.org/web/20200424133727/https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/trump-biden-china-debt-205475

Politico made it very clear from the framing that they were going to more or less gift Joe Biden with an in-kind campaign contribution by way of a bombshell counter-piece to Trump’s China attacks against him.

But as it turns out, the loan was sold by Bank of China—in 2012. In an updated version of the hit piece, here’s what Politico added:

After the first version of this article was published, the Bank of China issued a statement Friday evening stating that it sold its debt on the building weeks after the 2012 loan on the property. Vornado Realty Trust owns 70 percent of the building.

“On November 7, 2012 several financial institutions including the Bank of China participated in a commercial mortgage loan of $950 million to Vornado Realty Trust,” said Peter Reisman, managing director and chief communications officer of Bank of China U.S.A. “Within 22 days, the loan was securitized and sold into the [commercial mortgage-backed securities] market, as is a common practice in the industry. Bank of China has not had any ownership interest in that loan since late November 2012.”

The headline has also been updated to simply read “Trump owed tens of millions to Bank of China.”

And this line, “But Trump himself is tens of millions of dollars in debt to China,” has been changed to this: “But Trump himself has taken on debt from China.”

They also added a few more paragraphs in an effort to try and rescue the central point of their reporting, but it didn’t work.

Breitbart News was ahead of the game on this story, debunking the most sensational claims well before Politico updated their piece.

As you might imagine, the left—from Biden campaign staffers to former Obama officials, to journalists, to liberal/NeverTrump columnists to left-wing celebrities—latched on to this story as being the smoking gun that would sink Trump’s presidency.

Joe Biden’s director of rapid response:

Joe Biden’s national press secretary:

Kamala Harris’ former national press secretary for her failed presidential campaign:

Former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, including yet another media hoax in the process:

Former Obama officials:

From “journalists”:

Media Matters:

Liberal/NeverTrump columnists and celebrities:

In spite of how the thrust of the Politico piece has been thoroughly debunked, don’t look for many if any of these people to delete their tweets. Because history has shown us time and time again that the left and their allies in the mainstream press make it a standard practice to deploy the “fake but accurate” defense when their attacks on Republicans backfire.

UPDATE – 4/28/2020:

Late Monday night, Politico issued a separate statement on their original report, further acknowledging their original error on reporting Trump “owes” the Bank of China millions. They also admitted to another error – but blamed it on a “mistake in the public record”:

There remained an unresolved discrepancy. A 2017 document filed by the loan servicer, Wells Fargo, with the New York Department of Finance listed Bank of China as having a financial interest in the building, 1290 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. That record, known as a UCC3, indicated that Bank of China had a “secured” interest in the building’s fixtures in case of default on the loan. The 2017 document is valid until 2022, when the loan comes due.

POLITICO attempted to reach other parties to the refinancing throughout the weekend and Monday. Wells Fargo on Monday confirmed the Bank of China’s statement that it had been listed as a creditor on the building in error. Bank of China said Wells Fargo is taking steps to correct the record with an updated filing.

Consequently, the story was updated a second time on Monday evening to take account of the apparent mistake in the public record.

In other words, their original blockbuster report has completely collapsed.

And all of those tweets from Democrats and journalists that I referenced on Sunday? Not a single one of them has been deleted. Because fake but accurate and all.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 

 
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