Fox News, Washington Examiner had Nunes memo points before release

Fox News, Washington Examiner had Nunes memo points before release
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Two media outlets favored by conservatives appeared to receive parts of a controversial House Intelligence Committee memo before the document's public release and reports from other news organizations.

Both Fox News and the Washington Examiner published key points from the memo — authored by Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesGOP senator calls impeachment 'sabotage' effort, raises questions about witness on eve of testimony White House official sues Politico for story about his role in Trump's Ukraine dealings Conway and Haley get into heated feud: 'You'll say anything to get the vice-presidential nomination' MORE's (R-Calif.) staff and approved for public release by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE on Friday —  before the memo's publication Friday afternoon on the panel's website.

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Details of the memo were first reported by Catherine Herridge of Fox News.

The White House and lawmakers often brief select media outlets about major issues before other news organizations are aware, but Friday's release raised eyebrows because of the partisan nature of the memo, which alleges political bias at the Justice Department. Journalists from other outlets complained on Twitter that the release damaged the White House's credibility on the issue.

"Quite the way to make it clear this isn’t political as Trump claimed he wanted to divorce it from," tweeted The New York Times's Maggie Haberman.

NBC's Chuck Todd added that it was "not a good look" for House Republicans for the memo to appear in two often Trump-friendly news outlets before its official release.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. In a statement to CNN, the Washington Examiner's editorial director said he was glad his organization was able to "scoop" more mainstream outlets.

"Our reporters are very plugged in with great sources in Washington so I'm not surprised but I am delighted that we scooped rival news organizations in learning what was in the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] memo that everyone wanted to see," Hugo Gurdon told CNN.

— Updated at 6:13 p.m.