Three CNN Reporters Lose Jobs Over 'Fake News' On Trump

Elias Hubbard
June 28, 2017

For a president seemingly at perpetual war with "fake news", the resignation of three CNN journalists over a retracted story about a Donald Trump Russian connection is a gift from the political gods when the struggling effort to pass a health bill dominates the headlines. Bonifield speaks at length about how CNN CEO Jeff Zucker has pushed the network to cover the Russian Federation story because it has been a ratings victor and has made the network a lot of money.

The three journalists are Mr Thomas Frank, the writer of the story, Mr Eric Lichtblau, an editor in CNN's investigative unit, and Mr Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, the network had earlier reported.

The story, published Thursday, laid out the latest in the ongoing reporting saga of President Trump and hotly-contested ties to shadowy Russian officials.

The cable network's coverage of Trump transition-team member Anthony Scaramucci came amid federal scrutiny of corporate parent Time Warner's pending purchase by AT&T- and the widespread belief among media execs that CNN President Jeff Zucker can't survive a merger. The retracted CNN story was heavily dependent upon one anonymous source.

"I don't mind when you get it wrong, but the problem is as you said, thinly sourced as in only one source", he said. "They like hitting friends of [President Trump] who are loyal advocates on his behalf". "I certainly don't think that you'd get arguments from us if there were retractions from outlets on fake stories, but I also think that there's a moment where we can all do better, and I certainly think that's what we strive to do everyday, and hopefully, that's the goal", Sanders said. CNN also apologized to Scaramucci. Classy move. Apology accepted.

The story was about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. CNN accepted the journalists' resignations Monday.

As senior news executives reviewed the story's evolution, they found red flags that appeared to have been ignored, according to a person with direct knowledge of the events at CNN. I just refuse to believe that if they had something really good like that that wouldn't leak because we've been getting all these other leaks.

President Trump tried to make nice with the press Tuesday afternoon, hours after assailing CNN on Twitter. Comey testified instead that he had given Trump assurances that he was not personally under FBI investigation. He was previously the executive editor of CNNMoney.

On Friday night, CNN removed the story, saying it did not meet the news organization's standards.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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