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CNN makes false connection between Trump adviser & Russia — then it majorly backfires in their face

CNN forced to issue retraction after false reporting. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers/Getty Images)

CNN was forced to issue a retraction late Friday after they made an unfounded connection between a Trump adviser and Russia.

On Thursday, CNN published a potentially explosive story that linked Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment bank. The story was reported by CNN investigative reporter Thomas Frank.

Talking Points Memo describes the details of the story:

As CNN reported, Scaramucci met with Kirill Dmitriev, the fund’s chief executive, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland just four days before Trump’s inauguration. Congressional investigators reportedly want to know if they discussed lifting U.S. sanctions against Russia—a policy shift for which Dmitriev has strenuously advocated, according to CNN.

A spokeswoman for RDIF told CNN that they did not, though she declined to describe the conversation. Scaramucci also told the network that “there is nothing there.”

Dmitriev “came over to say hello in a restaurant, and I was cordial,” Scaramucci said in an email to CNN.

But by late Friday night, CNN had scrubbed the story from their site and removed its links from the network's social media accounts. CNN's editors replaced the story with an editor's note explaining the story's removal.

In the note, CNN's online editors said Frank's story didn't meet CNN's editorial standards. The news outlet also issued an apology to Scaramucci.

"On June 22, 2017, published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund," the note read. "That story did not meet CNN's editorial standards and has been retracted.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."

On Saturday morning, Scaramucci responded to news that CNN had scrubbed the story and said he accepts the network's apology.

".@CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on," he wrote.

An archived version of CNN's story can still be viewed here.

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