Three CNN Journalists Resign Over Retracted Story Targeting Trump Ally

Anthony Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci / AP

BY:

Three CNN journalists, including the executive editor in charge of the network's new investigative unit, resigned on Monday after CNN retracted a story last week.

"In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story's publication," a CNN spokesman said Monday evening.

Thomas Frank, who wrote the retracted story in question; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the investigative unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, all resigned their positions.

The retracted article was posted last Thursday and claimed that "longtime Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, who played a significant role on [Donald Trump's] White House transition team, had deep ties to a $10 billion Russian investment fund owned by a Kremlin-connected bank," according to the Washington Examiner.

Scaramucci responded on Thursday to a supporter of President Donald Trump on Twitter, who said that Scaramucci was being slandered on CNN.

CNN determined last Friday night that the editorial process was not followed and then decided to delete the story from CNN.com. The network then officially retracted the story and replaced it with an editor's note, CNN reported.

The piece "did not meet CNN's editorial standards and has been retracted," the note said. "Links to the story have been disabled."

The editor's note also included an apology to Scaramucci.

Scaramucci wrote on Saturday that "CNN did the right thing."

CNN's Brian Stelter reported that all three journalists had positive reputations prior to their departure from CNN:

Frank worked for USA Today and Newsday for three decades, pursuing investigations and covering the Iraq war as an embedded reporter, before coming to work at CNN.

He was part of an ambitious new investigative unit that was created last winter, bringing together existing teams from within the company and new hires like Lichtblau.

A veteran of the New York Times who won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2006, Lichtblau joined CNN just three months ago.

Haris, who was named the executive editor of CNN Investigates in January, was previously the executive editor of CNNMoney.

"On Friday, CNN retracted a story published by my team. As executive editor of that team, I have resigned," Haris said in a statement. "I've been with CNN since 2001, and am sure about one thing: This is a news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else. I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go."

Cameron Cawthorne

Cameron Cawthorne   Email Cameron | Full Bio | RSS
Cameron Cawthorne is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013. Prior to joining Free Beacon, Cameron was a Legislative Assistant in the Virginia General Assembly and a War Room Analyst at America Rising.

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