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CNN reporter leading coverage of anti-Trump dossier has deep connections to Fusion GPS founders

According to an extensive report from the Daily Caller, a CNN reporter leading the network's coverage of the anti-Trump dossier has vast connections to the leads behind the organization that produced it. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A CNN reporter who helps lead the network's coverage of the infamous so-called "anti-Trump dossier" has connections to the leaders of the opposition research firm behind the dossier and has failed to disclose them in his reporting, according to an analysis by the Daily Caller.

What did the report say?

From the Daily Caller:

CNN’s reporting on the dossier, led by justice correspondent Evan Perez, has been favorable to the firm, Fusion GPS, and hyped the dossier’s credibility. Left out of Perez’s reporting, which has relied largely on unnamed sources, is his personal closeness to Fusion GPS’ operatives. Fusion has repeatedly been described in Senate testimonies as a smear-for-hire operation that manufactures misleading or false media narratives for its clients.

According to the Daily Caller, Perez has worked with the three co-founders of Fusion, Glenn Simpson, Tom Catan and Peter Fritsch at the Wall Street Journal. Perez and Simpson co-authored stories at the Journal, while Fritsch worked above the duo as the newspaper's senior national security editor. Catan was also a reporter at the Journal during at the time.

Though he reported extensively on the story while at CNN, Perez "at no point" disclosed his connections to the Fusion founders, the Daily Caller reported. The conservative news website also included many pictures of Perez with the Fusion founders depicting their close personal relationships. Many of the photos were from parties and vacations.

What has the Journal said about their former employers?

The Journal's editorial board wrote a scathing editorial early in October ripping Democrats and the mainstream media for ignoring many of the scandal's most important developments, including Fusion's founders. They wrote:

The real question is why Democrats and Fusion seem not to want to tell the public who requested the dossier or what ties Fusion GPS boss Glenn Simpson had with the Russians in 2016. All the more so because congressional investigators have learned that Mr. Simpson was working for Russian clients at the same time he was working with [the dossier's author].

Americans deserve to know who paid Mr. Simpson for this work and if the Kremlin influenced the project.

They added: "Americans deserve to know who paid Mr. Simpson for this work and if the Kremlin influenced the project."

Why does this matter?

CNN has arguably taken the lead in the mainstream media's coverage of the Trump-Russia collusion story, which continues to fall flat more and more with each passing day. The network has also taken the lead in the story surrounding FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's campaign and Russia.

In journalism, conflicts-of-interests are a major concern. Especially with stories that rely on sources unwilling to have their identities published, a conflict-of-interest — such as the apparent one with Perez — can discredit a reporter, and their work, entirely. In general, not disclosing conflicts-of-interest and personal investments into the story or people a journalist covers is a major no-no.

One last thing…
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