A Snopes.com article attempting to discredit a Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group news story revealing that millions of Department of State tax dollars were sent to a charity created by Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter was loaded with factual errors and omissions.
From Daily Caller
The Peace Corps awarded more than $9 million of State Department money to Dr. Vanessa Kerry’s nonprofit for a program she established in conjunction with officials from both agencies. Most of those funds were awarded while Kerry’s father was the nation’s chief diplomat.
The DCNF’s Sept. 12, 2016, article by Investigative Group reporter Ethan Barton was based entirely on multiple government documents and thorough research. The Sept. 12 story was the first of nearly a dozen Kerry revelations.
Snopes.com writer David Emery criticized TheDCNF’s reporting nearly three months later in a Thursday article, but presented no evidence that refuted TheDCNF’s findings. The so-called “investigator of urban legends, rumors, hoaxes & all manner of codswallop,” according to his Twitter bio, also made numerous false statements, starting with the first sentence.
“CLAIM: Secretary of State John Kerry ‘funneled’ taxpayer money into his daughter’s global charity,” Emery wrote. He cited TheDCNF article in detail. But TheDCNF never made that claim and instead quoted government documents describing how the State Department, and not John Kerry, sent money to his daughter’s nonprofit through the Peace Corps.
In other words, Emery’s critique was based on a straw man of his own creation. Emery also did not contact TheDCNF for comment.
The Peace Corps gave Dr. Kerry’s charity – called Seed Global Health – its first State Department-funded award in 2012 while her father was the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations chairman, which oversees the State Department and the Peace Corps, TheDCNF wrote and Emery confirmed.
“However, the inference that Chairman Kerry was personally involved in the appropriation of said funds is fallacious,” Emery wrote. But TheDCNF never made that claim.
Emery described how the State Department’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) provided funds to the Peace Corps, then omitted crucial facts that highlight Kerry’s relationship to the money.
Kerry’s committee held the confirmation hearing for Eric Goosby, who was OGAC chief when Seed received its initial award. Dr. Kerry and Peace Corps officials met with Goosby about the three groups’ forging partnership before his office shelled out funding. Kerry had the power under Senate rules to prevent Goosby’s confirmation by putting a hold on it. Emery omitted these facts.
Emery admitted that Goosby’s OGAC successor, Deborah L. Birx, reported to Kerry when Seed received a contract extension in 2015, but he tried distancing their relationship by stating Birx “was appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.”
Emery included full statements from Seed, State Department and Peace Corps officials that deny Kerry’s involvement awarding the funding, but he failed to tell readers those remarks were first published by TheDCNF’s original article.
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