Three investigative journalists from CNN have resigned following the retraction and management review of a June 22 story which appeared on CNN’s website.
The three journalists include Thomas Frank, who wrote the story, Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the investigative unit, and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit and who has been an editor at CNN since 2001. The story claimed that Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci, who served on President Trump’s transition team, was being investigated by the Senate for a meeting with an executive for the Russian Direct Investment Fund – a fund which makes direct investments in Russian companies.
The story – which cited an anonymous source – was removed as it did not meet editorial standards. Scaramucci accepted an apology from CNN after he claimed on June 23 that the story was not true. However, CNN has not said that the story is false, although it has been reported by BuzzFeed that the network is now imposing tighter restrictions on stories about Russia.
“I’ve been with CNN since 2001, and I am sure about one thing: This is a news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else,” Haris told the Los Angeles Times. “I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go.”
CNN’s aggressive journalism on alleged ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia has caused the president to lash out at the network, as well as other networks. President Trump posted in a tweet that NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times and the Washington Post are all “fake news.” The president also tweeted that, following this story, CNN’s “ratings are way down” and the network is looking at “big management changes;” however, no management changes are expected and the network’s ratings are on pace to be ahead of last year.