Fired CNN editor sees vindication in Mueller testimony; CNN disagrees

Scandal-plagued, CNN forced the resignations of three journalists that served on the network’s Investigations unit back in 2017 after botching a story on Trump/Russia and Anthony Scaramucci. One of the fired employees, former award-winning CNN editor Eric Lichtblau, sees former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill as proof the team’s reporting was accurate.

The gist of the piece “was that a Senate committee was investigating possible ties between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and people linked with Trump’s presidential campaign, including Anthony Scaramucci, who was mentioned midway through the piece as having met with an RDIF official at Davos,” Vanity Fair reports.

Scaramucci disagreed, and took issue with the report, contacting bureau chief and vice president Sam Feist, who after a review, pulled the report, appended an editor’s note — and then CNN ultimately forced the resignation of the journalists.

“It’s reassuring to see a number of the core elements of the story, regarding contacts between Russian banking interests and Trump associates, now corroborated in the Mueller report,” Lichtblau told Vanity Fair. The relevant material begins on page 147 of volume I, where the report describes “Kirill Dmitriev’s Transition-Era Outreach to the Incoming Administration.” Dmitriev, in his capacity as the RDIF’s chief executive, “undertook efforts to meet members of the incoming Trump Administration in the months after the election,” according to the report, which goes on to detail some of those efforts.

Lichtblau sees this passage as validation of the retracted article. “I never had any doubt about the accuracy of the story,” he said.

Scaramucci was not mentioned in the Mueller report, though.

CNN, however, does not.

A spokesperson told Vanity Fair, “CNN disagrees with Lichtblau’s interpretation of the Mueller report. Nothing in the report changes our conclusion that we made the right decisions regarding this matter.”

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