On Thursday evening, CNN investigative reporter Thomas Frank published a potentially explosive report involving an investigation of a Russian investment fund with potential ties to several associates of President Donald Trump.
But, according to philly.com, by Friday night, the story was removed from CNN’s website and all links were scrubbed from the network’s social media accounts.
Neither Frank or CNN immediately responded to requests for comment, and a spokesperson for the Senate Intelligence Committee wasn’t available to comment.
Frank, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 while at USA Today, had reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating a “$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration.”
In addition to retracting its story, CNN also apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, an adviser to Trump during the presidential campaign and a member of his transition team’s executive committee, who was mentioned in the story as having met Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that the network said is overseen by Vnesheconombank, a state-run bank that is currently under U.S. sanctions.
According to the report, the meeting between Scarmucci and Dmitriev could have included the issue of sanctions being lifted, but a spokesperson for the RDIF told Sputnik News, a state-run Russian news channel, that the fund is not a part of Vnesheconombank.
Over the weekend it was learned CNN president Jeff Zucker is personally involved in the internal investigation into a now-retracted hit piece, sources inside CNN with direct knowledge confirmed to Breitbart News.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats find themselves on the hot seat as insiders point to leftist staff for members like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) as being responsible for the thinly-sourced hit piece. Staff for Harris deny any involvement, but Warren staff have not responded.
In wake of story retraction, CNNMoney exec editor sends memo to staff mandating all "Russia-related content" must be cleared by him or VP pic.twitter.com/2Y6QMZj1h5— Jon Passantino (@passantino) June 25, 2017
Also over the weekend, CNN imposed strict new publishing restrictions for online articles involving Russia after the network deleted a story and then issued a retraction late Friday, according to an internal email obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The new restrictions also apply to other areas of the network — not just CNNMoney, which wasn't involved with the article that was deleted and retracted.