President Trump on Friday lashed out at CNN after the indictment of ally Roger Stone, suggesting the network must have been tipped off about his arrest.
In Trump's first tweet responding to Stone's arrest, he called Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference a witch hunt, but he also pointed a finger at CNN. A journalist from the network earlier in the morning had been able to capture footage of Stone being arrested at his Florida home.
The theory that CNN was tipped off, possibly by the FBI itself, had picked up quite a bit of steam in the hours before Trump's tweet, being promoted by conservative pundits like Greta Van Susteren.
But CNN denied this, with the network instead citing "determined reporting and interpreting clues revealed in the course of events."
In fact, CNN's David Shortell had reported on air that a crew from the network staked out Stone's home because of "reporter's instinct," with the network having flagged some grand jury activity on Thursday and anticipating a possible indictment for Stone. CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz had explained on Don Lemon's show the night before that they noticed Mueller was convening a grand jury on a Thursday, which is not typical. "This could give us a big clue that perhaps something is coming," Prokupecz said, adding that the stepson of Jerome Corsi, an associate of Stone's, had just recently testified.
CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy on Friday criticized Trump for spreading this "baseless" conspiracy theory, adding, "Color me shocked!"