Caught on camera. The head of CNN media admits it’s all just a load of tripe. There is no evidence of Russian involvement in anything. Every day, the US is full of news stories of Russians fiddling inside American underwear. In fact it’s not the Russians doing the fiddling. They’re all just playing with themselves. Typical Americans. Do they have any brains over there? Some do. But not many, it appears. They’ve got balls obviously but not the first idea of where to swing them. As we say about the US in Britain – ‘all the gear, but no idea.’ Just shut it, CNN. We’ve had enough. Russia Russia Russia. Give us a new tune.
More Russian mud on CNN faces.
CNN on Monday accepted the resignations of three journalists involved in a story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund.
On Tuesday, around 6.30am ET, Trump tweeted in response: “Wow, CNN had to retract big story on ‘Russia,’ with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!”
The president then retweeted a tweet from a “clickbaiter & #FakeNews debunker”, featuring the CNN logo altered to read “FNN: Fake News Network”.
Later, using “stories” in the plural without citing additional examples, he added: “Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!”
The president then broadened his attack: “So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!”
The CNN story in question was posted on the network’s website on Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, on Friday night. CNN immediately apologised to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting.
Following the retraction Scaramucci, tweeted that CNN “did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on.”
Shortly after that the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted: “Hahahahaha, CNN has standards??? More #fakenews defaming my friend @Scaramucci.”
In taking down the story, CNN said it did not meet its editorial standards. The episode is a damaging blow for a network that Trump has frequently derided as “fake news” . The story never made it on to any of CNN’s television networks.
The author, Thomas Frank, was among those who resigned, according to a network executive who requested anonymity because the person was not authorised to discuss personnel issues. Also losing their jobs were Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN’s Washington bureau, and Lex Harris, head of the investigations unit.
The story was quickly questioned both internally and externally, including by the conservative site Breitbart News. It was determined that the story was posted without going through the expected checks and balances for one of such sensitivity, the executive said.
The failure to follow proper procedures is what led to the resignations, the CNN executive said. It’s not immediately clear what in the story is factually incorrect, or whether CNN would continue to report on the issue.
The retracted story had said the Senate intelligence committee was looking into a 16 January discussion between Scaramucci and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by US entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev.
The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russia would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund.