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CNN Journalists Resign Over Retracted Story About Trump-Russia Ties

Variety logo Variety 6/26/2017 Variety Staff

Three CNN editorial staffers have resigned in the wake of last week’s retracted story that suggested a questionable link between an ally of President Trump and a Russian investment fund.

Thomas Frank, Eric Lichtblau and Lex Haris resigned in the wake of the story posted on CNN’s website that had to be retracted on Friday. CNN also issued an apology to the subject of the story, Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci.

Frank, an on-air reporter for “CNN Investigates” who wrote the story, and Lichtblau are veteran print reporters who joined CNN amid the expansion of the cable news powerhouse’s digital news operations. Haris had been with CNN since 2001, and was recently tapped to lead its newly formed investigative unit. Lichtblau, who earned a Pulitzer Prize for his work at the New York Times in 2006, came to CNN as an editor just a few months ago.

“On Friday, CNN retracted a story published by my team. As Executive Editor of that team, I have resigned,” Haris said in a statement, according to CNN. “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.”

CNN said the catalyst for the resignations was the fact that the Scaramucci story did not go through the standard review process by fact-checkers before it was posted. CNN reported that the breakdown in workflow “disturbed” CNN executives.

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