The media thought they finally nailed Trump.

CNN ran an explosive report that the intelligence community had briefed Trump, Obama, and Congressional leaders that the Russian government possessed compromising information on the President-elect.

But within hours, their story completely fell apart – and Trump gave CNN their just desserts.

CNN’s “bombshell report” was based on a 35-page opposition research document prepared by political opponents of Donald Trump.

To be clear, what was prepared was not an intelligence agency document.

It was a memo of opposition research collected for Republican opponents of Trump, and then for the Democrats.

It contained lurid gossip and many factual errors which were easy to point out.

The story behind these memos had been pitched for months to journalists, but no one could find any evidence of the allegations that Trump was compromised by his dealings with Russia.

However, Senator John McCain got the documents in his possession and passed them on to FBI Director James Comey.

It was after this that the memo was reduced to a two page synopsis for briefers – who were briefing the President-elect on Russia’s alleged attempts to meddle in the 2016 election – to use in case they wanted to contrast real, actionable intelligence from what could be described as “disinformation”.

NBC reports:

“President-elect Donald Trump was not told about unverified reports that Russia has compromising information on him during last week’s intelligence briefing, according to a senior intelligence official with knowledge of preparations for the briefing.

A summary of the unverified reports was prepared as background material for the briefing, but not discussed during the meeting, the official said.

Two U.S. officials told NBC News that materials prepared for Trump during last week’s intelligence briefing included damaging allegations — unverified by American intelligence agencies — about his dealings with the Russians.”

Trump – as well as incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer – hammered the report as “fake news”.

In fact, during the press conference, CNN’s Jim Acosta repeatedly shouted for Trump to call on him for question, since he was attacking his network.

Trump ignored Acosta’s requests and declared CNN would not be called on because they were “fake news”.

Fox News channel’s Bret Baier described it as “unprecedented”.

But other conservatives applauded Trump for standing up to the left-wing media bullying and punching back twice as hard.