Its most recent misstep occurred this week when its social media team tweeted this misleading headline: "Fact check: No, the Clintons were not paid millions by Russia."
The accompanying article proves nothing of the sort.
The supposed fact check comes in response to a tweet this week from President Trump that read, "Russia sent millions to Clinton Foundation."
He is not wrong, and the Newsweek article acknowledges as much.
It acknowledges that former President Bill Clinton received a generous $500,000 speaking fee in 2010 from a Kremlin-linked bank with ties to Uranium One, a Canadian uranium company that had mines in the U.S. The Newsweek article also acknowledges a separate New York Times report that showed Uranium One's chairman donated approximately $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation in four separate installments as his company was being acquired by a Russian nuclear energy firm called Rosatom.
There's more from the Times report, and none of it reflects well on the Clintons:
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One's chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.
The only thing the Newsweek fact check disputes is whether the millions paid had anything to do with Rosatom's successful efforts to secure approval from the State Department to acquire Uranium One. The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment gave the go-ahead in October 2010, handing the Russian state-owned nuclear agency control of 20 percent of the uranium in America.
It's unclear whether the Russian cash given to the Clinton Foundation had anything to do with Bill Clinton's attempts in 2010 to facilitate meetings with Rosatom executives. It's also unclear whether the payments had anything to do with his decision to meet privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin that same year.
But this is still a long way off from, "Fact check: No, the Clintons were not paid millions by Russia."
Aggravatingly enough, the headline that appears on Newsweek's website is evenhanded and reasonable. It reads simply, "Did Russia Send Money to Bill Clinton's foundation like Trump says? Fact-checking the president's claim." It's the social media version of this headline that's atrocious.
That said, like the tweeted headline, the body of the fact check also makes claims that it can't quite back, including, "president is stretching the truth about the Clinton Foundation and money it received."
Well, perhaps. But the Clinton Foundation did take in millions from the Russians. That's what the president tweeted.
Here's how the Newsweek fact check concludes, "Yes, the foundation received money and Bill Clinton was paid to give a speech, but there's no evidence the Clintons were paid by Russians to push through the uranium deal."
This is correct, and it'd probably be devastating were it a thing the president actually said. But he didn't quite say that.
He implied it, sure. But what's the use of fact checking things that haven't been said?