Following an appearance from a former top FBI agent on MSNBC that noted the agency does not like to use the term “raid” when describing their actions taken at Mar-A-Lago on Monday, multiple media outlets, such as the New York Times and Twitter, have obliged.
FBI agents conducted a raid on Mar-A-Lago, the Palm Beach home of 45th President Donald Trump on Monday, which media reports claimed was down to the agency searching for allegedly classified documents that he took home after his first term ended.
Sources reported that the matter had been referred to the Justice Department by the National Archives and Records Administration, who had allegedly noted 15 boxes of classified material. However, in May, former White House official Kash Patel claimed those documents were declassified by the time Trump left office.
With Trump describing Mar-A-Lago as being subject to a “siege,” and that the FBI had “raided” his house, many news outlets used that language when describing the operation, until former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi spoke to MSNBC.
“Agents, by the way, don’t like the word raid, they don’t like it,” Figliuzzi said. “It sounds like it’s some kind of, you know, extra judicial non legal thing. It’s the execution of a search warrant. It’s a court authorized search warrant.”
MSNBC'S Frank Figliuzzi says 'FBI agents do not like the term "raid"'. Moments later, MSNBC updates their lower third to "executes search warrant" pic.twitter.com/KHCXTzJf6p
— Kayvon Afshari (@KayvonAfshari) August 9, 2022
Following further complaints that conservatives would be “ranting and raving,” about what Trump described as “prosecutorial misconduct,” Figliuzzi reiterated that the FBI would want the raid described as them having “executed a search warrant.”
Immediately after Figliuzzi dictated the FBI’s wishes for a second time, MSNBC changed their chyron, from “FBI Raids Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Home,” to “FBI Executes Search Warrant At Trump’s Mar-A-Lago,” exactly as the former Assistant Director asked.
MSNBC were not the only outlet to engage in headline manipulation.
The New York Times replaced the term with “search” in an analysis piece about Trump, noting that the FBI action took place as he was “weighing another run for the presidency.”
Change in Headline pic.twitter.com/5XMRVDBNf3
— Editing TheGrayLady (@nyt_diff) August 9, 2022
Twitter, which curates a trending tab with news topics selected by their staff, also had a far different description of what happened at Mar-A-Lago on Monday night and on Tuesday morning.
The Big Tech company’s initial news headline read, “Former President Donald Trump says FBI raided his Florida home.”
This was switched on Tuesday to read, “Former President Donald Trump’s Florida home searched by FBI.”
Twitter Monday night vs Twitter Tuesday morning.
Spot the difference! pic.twitter.com/SctOhcs0L1
— Jack Hadfield 🇬🇧 (@JackHadders) August 9, 2022
Valiant News reported on Tuesday that Judge Reinhart, who signed off on the FBI search warrant for the Mar-A-Lago raid, had represented “employees” of convicted human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
His Epstein-associated clients received immunity in the wide scale sex-trafficking investigation of the high-profile late pedophile.