Three CNN journalists, including the executive editor in charge of the investigative unit, have resigned after a publication on the Trump-Russia saga was retracted.
Thomas Frank, who wrote the story in question; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, all resigned according to CNN.
“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 evening.
An internal investigation found that some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published.
The story, which reported that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,” cited a single anonymous source.
This breakdown in editorial workflow “disturbed” the CNN executives who learned about it.
CNN noted that the retraction did not mean the facts of the story were necessarily wrong but that “the story wasn’t solid enough to publish as-is”.
The reporting about the Russian investment fund and Trump officials was not relayed on CNN’s television channels, but it was published on the web and shared on social media.
On Friday, one of the people named in the story, Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, disputed Frank’s reporting and said, “I did nothing wrong.”
The piece “did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted,” the note said. “Links to the story have been disabled.”
“On Friday, CNN retracted a story published by my team. As Executive Editor of that team, I have resigned,” Haris said in a statement. “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.”