CNN has admitted it printed what President Donald Trump calls “very fake news” and retracted a demonstrably inaccurate hit piece on the President and his allies after a Breitbart News investigation uncovered significant inaccuracies and flaws in CNN’s work.
“On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” CNN said in a statement late Friday night. “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted.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.”
The statement was sent out very late Friday evening on CNN’s Twitter account.
— CNN (@CNN) June 24, 2017
The retraction is a complete cave by a network that is notorious for trying to pick fights with President Trump and his allies. President Trump has identified CNN as a “very fake news” network. It comes on the heels of Breitbart News reporting on the inaccurate CNN hit piece, citing senior administration officials and sources close to Senate GOP leadership.
The thrust of CNN’s inaccurate piece, which is no longer available online, was a demonstrably untrue allegation that the Senate Intelligence Committee and Treasury Department were probing a Russian investment fund with ties to senior Trump allies like Anthony Scaramucci.
Using a single anonymous source, CNN wrote:
The source said the Senate intelligence committee is investigating the Russian fund in connection with its examination of discussions between White House adviser Jared Kushner and the head of a prominent Russian bank. The bank, Vnesheconombank, or VEB, oversees the fund, which has ties to several Trump advisers. Both the bank and the fund have been covered since 2014 by sanctions restricting U.S. business dealings.
The Senate Intelligence Committee declined to comment on the matter when reached by Breitbart News, but a source close to Senate GOP leadership confirmed to Breitbart News that the allegation was bogus and politically motivated by Democrats. The GOP source close to Senate GOP leadership said:
This is nothing besides Democrats trying to frustrate the efforts of President Trump’s administration while Elizabeth Warren and those of her ilk spend their days collecting taxpayer funded paychecks while they do nothing but stand in the way of the progress of the American agenda and are responsible for this nonsense. They should put their names on it if they want to waste taxpayer money on it.
As Breitbart News noted in its original investigation into the demonstrably fake news CNN hit piece, this supposed Senate investigation exists only among Democrats and not the actual Senate Intelligence Committee. Breitbart News noted in the original investigation:
Such vehemently anti-Trump voices as Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are on the Senate committee. CNN did not specify if its sole source for its story was a Democrat or Republican staffer, but most with familiarity on this matter assume that it was a Senate Democrat staffer without knowledge of the committee’s true intent or actions who made these inaccurate claims to CNN.
But that was not all that was wrong with the fake news piece from CNN. The CNN report continued:
Separately, Steve Mnuchin, now Treasury Secretary, said in a January letter that he would look into the Jan. 16 meeting between the fund’s chief executive and Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the transition team’s executive committee and a fundraiser and adviser for Trump’s presidential campaign. At the time, Mnuchin had not yet been confirmed as Treasury Secretary. The Treasury Department did not respond to a request for an update. Two Democratic senators had asked Treasury to investigate whether Scaramucci promised to lift sanctions — a policy shift that would help the fund attract more international investment to Russia.
It turns out, as Breitbart News noted in the original investigation, that the two Democrats who pushed for the probe of Scaramucci’s supposed “meeting” with the investment fund executive—which was not really a meeting—were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Scaramucci debunked the CNN fake news report in his original quote to the network, detailing how there was no such meeting to begin with.
CNN originally wrote, in the now retracted inaccurate hit piece:
Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital, minimized his January meeting with [Kirill] Dmitriev in the resort town of Davos, Switzerland, at the celebrated annual gathering of the World Economic Forum. Scaramucci had met Dmitriev at previous Davos meetings, although at the gathering in January, Scaramucci was expecting to be named White House liaison to the business community.
CNN also wrote that Scaramucci told the network in an email that Dmitriev “came over to say hello in a restaurant, and I was cordial. There is nothing there.”
The idea that the Treasury Department is investigating this is also completely baseless, as Breitbart News reported. “The matter has been reviewed and determined to be without merit,” a senior administration official told Breitbart News.
The inaccurate piece remained online for nearly an entire day, despite Breitbart News’s earlier inquiries to CNN about it. It was not until long after Breitbart News published its exposé on the fake news piece from CNN, hours later, that CNN finally retracted the piece and issued an “Editor’s Note” at 10:44 p.m. ET announcing the grave error. CNN’s Tweet was not until 11:50 p.m. ET.
CNN spokeswoman Emily Kuhn has not answered followup email questions as to whether reporter Thomas Frank, whose name appears on the byline, has faced any consequences for his actions—or whether he is still employed by the network. Kuhn has also not answered whether there have been any consequences that have befallen others involved in the publication of the demonstrably fake news piece, or exactly who at CNN was involved in this grave mistake.
Kuhn also continues to refuse to answer whether anyone from CNN, including media reporter Brian Stelter—the host of the network’s media program Reliable Sources—are courageous enough to publicly defend the network’s actions in an appearance on Breitbart News radio on SiriusXM. Kuhn has refused to provide anyone from the network on Breitbart radio since before President Trump won the election last year and defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in a landslide in the electoral college.
The fact remains, however, that CNN printed demonstrably fake news–and has now admitted it by retracting this piece–and it did so at the behest of Elizabeth Warren’s leftist agenda. But, as Breitbart News’s original source close to Senate GOP leadership said: “Mr. Scaramucci knows more about lawfully and ethically conducting business in the finance world than Elizabeth Warren will ever know U.S. finance — Native American or otherwise.”