The Daily Beast reports:
On Tuesday, in a new letter exclusively shared with The Daily Beast, Democracy Forward called upon on the Treasury’s inspector general to look into whether some of the actions unearthed in that FOIA deep-dive violated a relatively obscure federal law prohibiting government agencies from spreading information without disclosing its origin.
In a specific instance cited by Democracy Forward, a Treasury communications official directed a Fox Business Network employee to make changes to an article about a trip taken by Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin. The official crafted specific alterations for the article and Fox staff acquiesced to the official’s preferred headline and article text wording.
While lobbying for changes in a news article is common for flacks at both government agencies and private companies, Democracy Forward argued that the emails show Treasury officials “exerting substantial influence over FBN’s coverage and raises troubling questions regarding Treasury officials’ compliance with the covert propaganda ban.”
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