CNN and ‘Squad’ member congresswoman Cori Bush highlighted the struggle of a single mom of three facing homelessness who turned out to be the children’s babysitter.
Dasha Kelly, 32, of Las Vegas, was featured in a segment last week with CNN Reporter Nick Watt, who took a tour of Kelly’s home.
It promoted a GoFundMe she set up to collect rent which has since raised more than $230,000 thanks to CNN’s report, and repeatedly referred to her as the mother of Sharron, 8, Kia, 6, and Imani, 5. But it turns out Kelly was just their babysitter.
Kelly appeared on the network – and was subsequently hailed by Missouri US Representative Bush – after claiming she faced homelessness when the federal eviction moratorium designed to stop people being left homeless by COVID ends.
But before making the clarification, CNN even brought Kelly back with the children for a follow-up interview with Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush amid the Biden administrations announcement that the eviction moratorium would extend until October 3.
‘This is the least that we can do for you is to step up and make sure that you get to stay in the safety and comfort of your home, while we work on other things, to help make sure that your life and the lives of your children are better,’ Bush said.
CNN recently came under fire for a story about a ‘single mom of three’ who turned out to just be their babysitter. The woman, Dasha Kelly, is above in the CNN segment with the three girls Sharron, 8, Imani, 5, and Kia, 6
Kelly was featured in an Aug. 5 segment about her struggle to pay rent amid the end of the eviction moratorium. She was referred repeatedly as the mother of the three girls
The story aired last week and, today, the news outlet added the above notice to the segment
The lawmaker shared the segment in a tweet on Aug. 5, in which she wrote, ‘When I say your Congresswoman loves you, this is what I mean. Kelly, I may not be your representative, but I love you and I will not stop working to make sure you and every person in our country has what they need to thrive.’
But today, CNN released the following correction to the story: ‘After CNN aired a story about her potential eviction, Dasha Kelly clarified to CNN that she is not the mother of the three children featured in the story. CNN has verified she takes care of the children in her home for periods of time.’
The updates continues: ‘She says she originally described herself to CNN as a mother because she considers herself to be like one to them. CNN has learned the children are also cared for by their mother, Shadia Hilo, and their father, David Allison, who is Kelly’s boyfriend. GoFundMe tells CNN they are in close contact with Kelly and funds will stay on hold until they verify her information. GoFundMe says no funds have been withdrawn.’
Before making the clarification, CNN even brought Kelly back with the children for a follow-up interview with Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush. She tweeted the clip on Aug. 5
Cori Bush has not made any public statements following CNN’s correction
CNN also released a follow-up segment with the update, in which Watt described the situation from his vantage point. He said, ‘We interviewed Kelly at her home, the girls all called her mom, appeared to be very much at home and there was nothing we could see to raise any suspicion.’
He adds, ‘But later last week a woman named Shadia Hilo came forward and said she was the mother of those three girls and they lived with her.’
Watt said that Hilo even showed CNN the birth certificates to prove it. He said that the rest of Kelly’s story checks out and ‘she clearly does look after those girls part of the time. But in that GoFundMe post, she described those girls as her daughters and that’s just not true.’
Kelly’s GoFundMe page has raised $230,000 since CNN’s coverage aired
After CNN’s clarification, Kelly posted the above update to the page
Kelly’s GoFundMe page, which has raised $230,000 since CNN’s coverage, reads, ‘My name is Kelly and I have 3 daughters living in Nevada. We were maintaining just fine before this pandemic hit. Now we are suffering.’
After CNN’s clarification, Kelly posted an update to the page that reads, ‘I’ve been contacted with some concerns around my relationship to the girls mentioned on my fundraiser, and I’d like to clarify a couple things. The girls recognize me as a mother figure in their lives, but I am not their biological mother.’
She confirmed that her boyfriend is the girls’ father, but she doesn’t live with him and only babysits the girls on occasion. ‘I’ve loved these girls unconditionally, and have been out of the kindness of my heart,’ she added. ‘I treat them as my daughters, and care for them in this way. This detail doesn’t change my original need for donations to avoid eviction, and I will be using the funds to get back on my feet and support my family.’
CNN was prompted to to release its correction after another woman, named Shadia Hilo, has since come forward as the girls’ rightful mother
Last year, Kelly lost her job as a card dealer after the pandemic forced casinos to shutter. She is among over 11 million Americans that are behind on their rent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Cori Bush has not made any public statements following CNN’s correction. The congresswoman recently sparked a hypocrisy storm after saying that she will continue to spend thousands of dollars in personal security because she has feared for her life, while concurrently calling to defund the police despite warnings it will leave poorer Americans less safe.
‘I’m going to make sure I have security because, I know, I have had attempts on my life,’ Bush told CBS News in an interview outside the Capitol. ‘And I have too much work to do, there are too many people that need help right now, for me to allow that.’
‘So if I end up spending $200,000, if I spend $10 more on it – you know what, I get to be here to do the work,’ she added.
Critics of Bush said her comments were a gift to Republicans, and will likely be used to help paint the Democrats as too left-wing and out of touch at the 2022 mid-terms, and even the 2024 presidential election.