Anthony Scaramucci, an adviser to President Trump and the target of a CNN hit piece that was eventually retracted, says there is a feeling of “vindication” in the White House after the network was forced to kill the piece and apologize to Scaramucci for its claims.
CNN pulled an article Friday on alleged ties between a Russian investment fund and members of Trump’s team–including Scaramucci. The retraction came after a Breitbart News investigation reported on a number of flaws and inaccuracies in the piece.
The network apologized to Scaramucci, and three employees connected with the article resigned Monday amid reports that a $100 million lawsuit from Scaramucci forced CNN’s hand.
President Trump tweeted about the situation, mocking their “phony Russian stories”:
Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2017
Scaramucci was asked on Fox News Thursday about his conversations with President Trump about the issues. Scaramucci declined to go into detail but admitted there was a “level of vindication” in the matter, as well as the broader Russia controversy.
“I had a private conversation with the president. It’s probably important to keep it private. But I do think there’s some level of vindication not just for the president, but for the entire team–that this is a bunch of nonsense,” he said.
Scaramucci also played down the reports of his threatening legal action:
“I had a couple of conversations with senior staff at CNN. I made it very clear to them that the story was not accurate and that it was a defamatory story. I reminded them about my legal background,” he said.
He added that while he has sympathy for journalists, it is important for their profession and their reputation that their stories are accurate and that they are more prudent in reporting.
“Because I think you’re going to leave your own reputation behind,” he said. “You’re going to potentially damage the reputation of people you’re talking about. But once you start to lose your integrity and your reputation as a news organization, people start to get tone deaf.”
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Breitbart News based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.