Very Fake News: CNN Pushes Refurbished Russia Conspiracy, Inaccurately Claims Investment Fund Under Investigation

CNN red, blue, studio Mike BlakeReuters
Mike Blake/Reuters

Another day, another very fake news story from the network President Donald Trump has identified as “very fake news.”

CNN’s Thomas Frank on Thursday evening published what would have been considered an explosive report if remotely true: One anonymous source told him both the Treasury Department and Senate Intelligence Committee are probing a Russian investment fund with ties to several senior finance world leaders close to President Trump. Only problem? Both Trump administration officials and those close to Senate GOP leadership say it’s simply untrue.

Frank wrote, using one anonymous source:

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.

While the Senate Intelligence Committee had no comment on the matter when asked by Breitbart News about this report of a supposed probe, a source close to Senate GOP leadership told Breitbart News this claim is entirely untrue and there is no such probe in the committee.

The source close to Senate GOP leadership told Breitbart News:

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.

The supposed Senate probe seems to exist only in the minds of Senate Democrats on the Intelligence Committee, not the full committee. 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 is hardly all that is wrong with the CNN report. Frank continued in his piece:

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.

The two Democratic senators who asked Mnuchin to look into this supposed “meeting” between Scaramucci and the fund executive were none other than Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Warren is one of the leaders of the highly unpopular anti-Trump “resistance,” which has now proven it thus far cannot win elections after the lucratively-funded Jon Ossoff failed in Georgia’s special election. But it turns out, as Scaramucci told CNN for a quote they buried deep in the piece, the supposed “meeting” was not really a meeting:

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.

Frank then wrote that Scaramucci told him in an email that Dmitriev “came over to say hello in a restaurant, and I was cordial. There is nothing there.”

What’s more, a senior administration official told Breitbart News when asked about the supposed matter that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was looking into regarding a reported “meeting” between Scaramucci and a top representative from that fund that nothing improper was found and the matter is closed. “The matter has been reviewed and determined to be without merit,” the senior administration official told Breitbart News.

CNN spokeswoman Emily Kuhn has not responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News on whether the network stands by its reporting. But it seems as though the anti-Trump media network is willing to do anything to hammer Republicans, Trump, and his allies—including making up thinly sourced gruel about a supposed Senate investigation that does not exist to push Warren’s agenda.

“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,” the source close to Senate GOP leadership told Breitbart News.


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