Three journalists resign from CNN after Russia-related story is retracted

CNN said an investigation about a Russia investigation didn't follow "some standard editorial practices"

Charlie May
June 27, 2017 3:30PM (UTC)

A total of three journalists including an executive editor in charge of a new investigation team and a Pulitzer Prize winner have resigned from CNN after publishing a Russia-related investigation story with inaccuracies that has since been retracted.

Thomas Frank, who wrote the story; Eric Lichtblau, an editor inside the investigative unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit; have all turned in resignations after the piece failed to meet journalistic protocol, according to CNN.


After an internal investigation, the network determined that "some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published," CNN reported. The story in question linked Anthony Scaramucci, an ally of the president, to a Russian investment fund and cited one anonymous source.

"These types of stories are typically reviewed by several departments within CNN — including fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers — before publication," CNN reported. While the story was not ruled completely false in nature, "the story wasn't solid enough to publish as-is," an individual briefed on the investigation said.

On Friday night, the story was removed from CNN.com and subsequently replaced with an editor's note. An apology to Scaramucci was also issued. He then issued a tweet which said that the network had done "the right thing" and that he was "moving on."


"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," Haris said in a statement. "I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go."

Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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