Jake Tapper issues on-air apology

CNN’s The Lead anchor Jake Tapper issued an apology today on his program, following a remark he made earlier in the day when he was anchoring special CNN coverage.

Speaking of the White House’s apology for killing the American hostages, Tapper said, “President Obama wanted to bring this information to the American people, but it’s also, it seems fair to say, that his hand was forced to some degree by The Wall Street Journal, which was reporting this information this morning as well.”

“The questions are there, obviously: Why now?” said CNN White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski. “These two operations happened back in January. No word of that until now, until we knew that some of this was coming out in the press.”

But Politico’s media reporter Dylan Byers reports that isn’t the case at all:

In fact, Entous and the Journal did not force the White House’s hand, the On Media blog has learned. Senior U.S. officials approached Entous about the drone strike on Wednesday but asked him to hold it overnight so that they could inform the victims’ families. In other words, the White House was planning to make the disclosure and decided to give Entous a heads-up, with the request that he agree to an embargo.

“The Administration approached Entous with some details last night (some details in his story he came to his own conclusions about after he spoke with us, and we did not confirm those details for him) and asked him if he wanted to break the story, so there would be a story out when we made the announcement,” one of the sources familiar with the exchanges said. “That’s why the story popped at the exact same time as the WH statement. Adam Entous was as surprised last night as you all were this morning.”

Tapper’s correction is below:

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