Veteran CNN Journalists Resign Over Retracted Trump-Russia Story

PHOTOGRAPH: Josh Hallett/Flickr under Creative Commons |

Three veteran CNN journalists with outstanding investigative credentials have handed their resignation after the publication retracted their story on Trump’s alleged Russian ties, citing it failed to meet reporting standards.

CNN wrote in an unusual editor’s note to the public that they have accepted a resignation from reporter Thomas Frank, a former Pulitzer Prize-finalist for USA TODAY; editor Eric Lichtblau, a Pulitzer Prize winner for the New York Times who joined CNN earlier this year; and Lex Haris, the executive editor in charge of CNN’s new investigative unit.

“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” the news outlet said in a statement Monday afternoon.

The story which was posted Thursday on its website said Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating a meeting between Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Trump’s transition team, and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he met with Dmitriev in a restaurant on January 16, four days before Trump’s inauguration.

CNN Journalists’ Russia Story Snafu

CNN management’s internal investigation found that some standard editorial processes were not followed when the story was published. While the publication claims it doesn’t mean the facts are necessarily wrong, “the story wasn’t solid enough to publish as-is.”


The report about the Russian investment fund and Trump officials was published on the web and shared on social media but was not relayed on CNN’s television channels. Links to the articles have since been taken down and replaced with an editor’s note.

CNN has also apologized to Scaramucci, who have also debunked the story, saying on Twitter: “I did nothing wrong.” The Wall Street figure accepted its apology the next morning, calling it “the right thing” and a “classy move.”

The outlet has beefed up its investigative unit in recent years. Its aggressive journalism, particularly on the Trump campaign’s alleged Russian ties, has led the President to harshly criticize the network and call it “fake news.”To date, it remains the major network whom Trump has not granted a sit-down interview with since he was elected.

Also Read: Trump Admits There’s No ‘Secret Tape’ With Former FBI Director James Comey, Comes Clean In Twitter

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A Mass Communication graduate, Necta has been writing news and other digital content for over 2 years now. She's a movie buff and a sucker for Korean dramas.