CNN and The Hill both spread a bombastic accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday, without mentioning that the man who made the accusation has since retracted the claim and apologized for making it.
A Rhode Island man called Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office and claimed that Kavanaugh and one of the judge’s high school friends, Mark Judge, had drunkenly sexually assaulted a friend of his while in Rhode Island in 1998, according to the transcript of a Senate Judiciary Committee interview with Kavanaugh.
The man’s name was redacted in the transcripts released to the public but the investigator quoted verbatim several outlandish anti-Trump tweets from the man’s Twitter account, allowing reporters to definitively identify him on Twitter as “Jeffrey Catalan.”
Catalan retracted the claim shortly afterward and said he made a “mistake” in leveling the false charge against Kavanaugh. “I have recanted because I have made a mistake and apologize for such mistake,” the man wrote on Twitter.