The subtitle is really my story here. I decided to put most of this post behind a paywall so I can speak more freely and not be braced for a backlash by people who don’t want context and gray areas. I hope you enjoy my insights into how how relationships and the media operate in DC — from my early career at ABC News and NBC News to getting fact checked today.
I got fact checked by the The Washington Post today on guns and passed with no challenges. The Post’s well-known fact checker Glenn Kessler wrote this article: “Baldwin says he never pulled the trigger. Experts are skeptical.”
Kessler reported that Alec Baldwin’s claim last week on ABC News that he didn’t pull the trigger of the gun when he shot and killed Halyna Hutchins is in question.
But several gun experts increasingly say this scenario does not make sense unless there was a serious mechanical defect with the gun — which should have been obvious before it was used.
If you didn’t get a chance to read it last week, my fact check of Baldwin’s claim is here. I concluded that:
Baldwin admits that the gun fired properly for over an hour. It cannot lose functionality by being handled to the set. He had his finger on the trigger and either didn’t realize it or is lying.
Here’s the part in The Post about my reporting:
As a reader service, here’s a roundup of what prominent gun experts have said about Baldwin’s statement.
Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works, said in an interview with Emily Miller, author of a book on gun-control laws and policies: “The very first thing people say when a gun discharges is that they didn’t touch the trigger. … It’s a common mistake for new people. It’s unconscious. They truly believe they didn’t have their finger on the trigger.”
Cargill, who is a handgun and private security instructor, told Miller one possible explanation is Baldwin had his finger on the trigger and used his thumb to pull the hammer back.
I’ve known Kessler for over 15 years. He was The Post’s reporter at the State Department when I was the deputy press secretary in the Bush 43 administration. We both traveled everywhere in the world with the Secretary of State (Colin Powell and then Condi Rice.)