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June 26, 2017

3 resign at CNN over retracted story on Trump allies, Russia

Three journalists at CNN have resigned after the network retracted an article linking allies of President Donald Trump to a Russian investment fund,'s Brian Stelter reported Monday evening.

Thomas Frank, who wrote the story, left CNN along with Eric Lichtblau, an editor in a recently formed investigative unit, and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, according to the report.

The story reported that Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials, including a meeting between Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Trump's transition team, and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. The story cited one anonymous source.

CNN management found that some standard editorial processes were not followed before the article published, causing the network to retract the article on Friday night, according to Stelter's report.

Members of the investigative unit were told that the facts of the story weren't necessarily wrong, but that the story wasn't solid enough to publish as it was, according to the report.

The story was posted to and shared on social media, but it did not receive air time on the network, Stelter reported.

By Friday night, CNN had replaced the story with an editor's note that stated the article did not meet the company's editorial standards. The note also included an apology to Scaramucci.

"CNN did the right thing. Classy move," Scaramucci tweeted Saturday morning. "Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on."

According to CNN, Frank wrote for USA Today and Newsday for three decades, working in investigations and covering the Iraq War as an embedded reporter before joining CNN.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.