The New York Times has issued a correction after publishing a climate report on Tuesday it said was “leaked” to the paper by a scientist — only to learn the report had been online for months.
Under the front-page sub-headline, “Fears of Suppression,” the article claimed the draft report had “not been made public” by the Trump administration but “a copy of it was obtained by The New York Times.”
The report was available on the Internet Archive non-profit website at the start of the year, however. It was also available on The National Academies of Sciences Public Access Records Office website, which is accessible to the public.
The Times issued a correction on page A17 of its Wednesday edition.
“An article on Tuesday about a sweeping federal climate change report referred incorrectly to the availability of the report,” the paper wrote. “While it was not widely publicized, the report was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January; it was not first made public by The New York Times.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed the Times for not reaching out to the White House press office for comment before publishing the Tuesday report.
“It’s very disappointing, yet entirely predictable to learn The New York Times would write off a draft report without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies directly involved with climate and environmental policy,” Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“As others have pointed out – and The New York Times should have noticed – drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period,” she continued.
“The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date.”
The Trump administration has until Aug.18 to decide whether to release the final version of the report.
The study concluded that human activity is a leading factor in the warming of the planet.