CNN has graduated from publishing “corrections” of its fake news dispatches to killing the dispatches altogether. That is the action the cable network, which earned the title of “undisputed leader in fake news” during the 2106 election season, took yesterday regarding a story that falsely claimed that a presidential adviser was under investigation for ties to Russia.
The story, which ran on Thursday, reported that Congress is currently investigating Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the Trump transition team’s executive committee, as well as as fundraiser and adviser for the president’s campaign.
The author of the piece, Thomas Frank, wrote that Senate investigators were looking into whether Scaramucci discussed lifting sanctions with Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the $10-billion Russian Direct Investment Fund, in a meeting just four days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund is a government-operated investment tool that has helped private-equity firms in the U.S. invest in Russia. Scaramucci met the investment fund’s chief executive Dmitriev in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, where he expressed a desire for more outreach with Russia and other countries, like China.
In his story, Frank wrote:
Scaramucci’s comments alarmed Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Ben Cardin of Maryland, who asked [Secretary of the Treasury Steve] Mnuchin [sic] investigate whether Scaramucci sought to “facilitate prohibited transactions” or promised to waive or lift sanctions against Russia.
CNN had fair warning that the story was bogus when the networked interviewed a spokesperson for the Russian investment fund, who told reporters flat out that Scaramucci and Dmitriev never discussed sanctions during their rather brief meeting abroad. CNN, however, was not to be deterred from publishing a juicy piece of gossip that might be damaging to Donald Trump. So the network strung the pieces together by pointing out that the Russian official has been adamantly calling for an end to sanctions, while Scaramucci has also questioned the approach.
The original CNN story had to be updated before it was ultimately deleted for additional inaccurate information beyond the false statements concerning an investigation into Scaramucci.
Last night at 10:44 p.m., CNN reported that the story had been killed and apologized for improper reporting in an editor’s note that reads:
On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.
A cached version of the original is still available here.
This report, by Ryan Pickrell, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.