Three journalists have resigned from United States media network CNN after the organisation retracted a news story related to potential links between Donald Trump's campaign team and Russian Federation.
Those who resigned Monday were Lex Haris, the executive editor of CNN Investigates who is a veteran editor at the network; Eric Lichtblau, who edited the piece and had shared a Pulitzer at The New York Times for his reporting on warrantless wiretapping during the George W. Bush administration; and Frank, who had been lured away from USA Today, where he had been a Pulitzer finalist.
The three journalists at CNN, including the editor in charge of the story, had published a report on a Russian fund and its links to Trump officials.
Trump lashed out on Twitter, asking his followers what other fake news stories CNN was producing.
Not surprisingly, Mr Trump took the opportunity to attack the network, which regularly bears much of the brunt of his rhetorical attacks on the press. What about all the other phony stories they do?
The story was posted Thursday on CNN's website. Frank was an on-air reporter for "CNN Investigates" and a longtime newspaper writer, per Variety.
Sanders attacks CNN, media in briefing
A source close to CNN told BuzzFeed that the story's publication was a "massive, massive f-- up and people will be disciplined". O'Keefe said Project Veritas got the video last Friday and that a portion, in an elevator, was recorded at CNN's headquarters.
Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also referenced O'Keefe's video during Tuesday afternoon's press briefing in a tense exchange with members of the media.
The news media's coverage of the Russian Federation scandal - often based on anonymous sources - also took a hit when ousted FBI Director James B. Comey testified that a February 14 New York Times story was "not true" and lamented articles citing sources claiming to reveal classified information. He said that Project Veritas plans to release another video involving another CNN employee, with the timing dependent on how CNN reacts to the Bonifield material. Classy move. Apology accepted. O'Keefe said he has a stash of videos he will release, and the drip-drip of videos will serve to further amplify pro-Trump media's antipathy for the cable channel.
As US and worldwide viewers gobble up "American Pravda: CNN Part II", released today and featuring CNN host Van Jones calling the Russian Federation story a baseless "nothingburger", some, including the President of the United States, are wondering if and when other news outlets will be exposed for peddling "fake news".
On Friday night, CNN removed the story, saying it did not meet the news organization's standards.
"Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it", an email from a CNN spokesman to the Daily Beast reads. Bonifield later goes on to say that the president is justified in saying "Look, you are witch hunting me".
As for Scaramucci, he was reportedly getting congratulatory "slaps on the back" following the CNN debacle.