CNN deletes false story on Trump ally's links to Russia: 'It was a massive f*** up'

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CNN pulled a story on 23 June because it proved to be false regarding a Trump ally's ties to a Russian state-run bank: David McNew/Newsmakers
CNN pulled a story on 23 June because it proved to be false regarding a Trump ally's ties to a Russian state-run bank: David McNew/Newsmakers

CNN has retracted a story linking an ally of Donald Trump to a Russian bank, amid an FBI investigation into alleged ties between campaign aides and Moscow.

The story of Trump campaign team executive Anthony Scaramucci's ties to the Kremlin-controlled Russian Direct Investment Fund was false, prompting many to accuse the outlet of "fake news".

Links to the piece were disabled and in its place CNN issued an Editor's Note that read: “That story did not meet CNN's editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologises to Mr Scaramucci.”

Mr Scaramucci, who founded investment firm SkyBridge Capital, responded via Twitter that the network did the "right thing". He had previously tweeted that media outlets were biased against Mr Trump's supporters: “They like hitting friends of @potus who are loyal advocates on his behalf.”biased against Mr Trump's supporters: “They like hitting friends of @potus who are loyal advocates on his behalf.”

The story relied upon a single, unnamed source who falsely claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating a "$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of [the Trump] transition team four days before Trump's inauguration".

Amid ongoing FBI, Senate, House, and special prosecutor investigations into alleged ties between the Trump campaign team and Russia, prompted a source at CNN to tell Buzzfeed that the mistaken reporting was a “massive, massive f*** up and people will be disciplined."

Buzzfeed has reported that CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and the chief of human resources are "directly involved" in investigating the matter.

In an internal email leaked to Buzzfeed, CNNMoney Executive Editor Rich Berbieri wrote that no CNN affiliated unit "should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas]," a CNN vice president.

He applied the rule to social and video units. The network is reportedly looking into revising the way it covers Russia investigation stories amid growing concerns about "fake news" and public distrust.

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