Speaking in Ohio on Friday afternoon, Donald Trump told supporters that an F.B.I. inquiry into the Clinton Foundation, which has been described as unwarranted by Justice Department officials, is likely to yield an indictment.
"The FBI says their investigation is also likely to yield, perhaps, an indictment" Trump says leaning on a walked back Fox report.
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) November 4, 2016
What Trump is either unaware of, or unconcerned with, is the fact that the sole source of that report, Bret Baier of Fox News, appeared on the channel on Friday morning to apologize for getting the facts wrong.
Here is my 11am live shot –about the Clinton investigations and my reporting of them. https://t.co/8wAzzkDiy3
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) November 4, 2016
It was the second straight day that Baier had attempted to undo the damage he caused by telling his colleague Brit Hume on Wednesday that unnamed sources told him that agents — described in other reports as a pro-Trump cell, chomping at the bit to indict Hillary Clinton — planned to keep digging and an indictment was “likely.”
— Partisan Politics (@PartisnPolitics) November 2, 2016
On Friday, Baier said that his report was “a mistake — and for that, I’m sorry. I should have said, ‘They will continue to build to build their case.'”
“Indictment is a very loaded word,” Baier added, “and no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment, no matter how strong investigators feel their case is.”
On the campaign trail, Trump had cited Baier’s initial report as evidence that his rival for the presidency would soon be indicted.
"The FBI agents say there is likely to be an indictment" – Donald Trump speaking in Jacksonville, Florida. https://t.co/nLjzbUHGWy
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 3, 2016
Trump has apparently decided not to back away from that claim, even after Baier retracted it.
On Thursday night, after NBC News reported that there was no truth to the idea that indictments were coming, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, observed, with no apparent concern for the truth, “Well, the damage is done to Hillary Clinton, no matter how its being termed.”