On Tuesday, The New York Times used a tweet from a Twitter account claiming to be General Michael Flynn as a source for a quote from the newly resigned national security advisor.
The NYT wrote:
On Tuesday morning, Mr. Flynn wrote on Twitter: “While I accept full responsibility for my actions, I feel it is unfair that I have been made the sole scapegoat for what happened. But if a scapegoat is what’s needed for this Administration to continue to take this great nation forward, I am proud to do my duty.”
The Twitter account that the Times quoted was “@GenMikeFlynn” which is not the real account for the now former national security advisor. The account, which had been very vocal speaking in first person as Flynn during the past week of controversy, is not verified. Twitter’s verification, which places a “blue check mark” on an entity’s profile, is meant to let the public know the account is actually who they are claiming to be. In the case of a high profile government individual such as Flynn, it is unlikely they would be tweeting from an unverified account.
The NYT later edited their article and added a correction:
“Because of an editing error, an earlier version quoted three posts from an unverified Twitter account purporting to be Mr. Flynn’s, responding to the resignation.”
The account was set up two weeks ago just after Flynn took his position as national security advisor in the Trump administration.
On the same day as The New York Times falsely reporting that the account belonged to the real retired three star General, the account tweeted about the New York Times reporting “fake news.”
The fake account tweeted accusing another account of faking being the identity of Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr.
The @MichaelFlynnJr account also points a finger back at @GenMikeFlynn that they are a “FAKE Twitter account” for his “father.”
The account retweeted the verified account of Kellyanne Conway.