Three CNN staffers resigned after the network retracted a story trying a top President Trump ally to a Russian investment bank.
Thomas Frank, the author of the story, Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the CNN investigative unit that ran the story and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, have all left CNN, the network reported Monday.
The story connected Anthony Scaramucci, a top proponent of Trump, to a Russian investment fund run by a bank controlled by the Kremlin.
“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 spokesman said Monday.
An internal CNN investigation reportedly found that normal editorial processes weren’t followed in the story’s editing and publication. Only one anonymous source was used in the story, and typical parts of CNN’s workflow, such as fact checkers, were reportedly not utilized before publication.
Those filled in on the results of the internal investigation were reportedly told that the facts of the story weren’t necessarily wrong, but that the piece wasn’t strong enough to run as is.
CNN, which Trump has frequently derided as “fake news,” added strict rules for its Russia coverage following the retraction.
“On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” the news organization said in a statement.
“That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted.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 source close to CNN told BuzzFeed that the story’s publication was a “massive, massive f— up and people will be disciplined.”