President Donald Trump took to social media to blast media outlets that have been critical of his administration in the wake of CNN's retraction of a story that had linked a Trump transition team member to a Russian bank.
On June 23, CNN retracted a report that had asserted ties between Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci and a $10 billion investment fund maintained by a Kremlin-controlled bank. The story had relied on one anonymous source.
"On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund," CNN stated in an editor's note. "That story did not meet CNN's editorial standards and has been retracted.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."
The retraction prompted reporter Thomas Frank, editor Eric Licthblau, and executive editor Lex Haris to resign from the network.
Scaramucci accepted the apology and disclosed that he would not sue the network, although he remained critical of the report's integrity.
"I was disappointed the story was published," Scaramucci told Fox News. "It was a lie."
On June 27, Trump took to social media to lambaste CNN and other news outlets, The Hill reports.
"Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got [caught] falsely pushing their phony Russian stories," Trump tweeted out.
"So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC?" Trump continued. "What about the failing [New York Times] and [The Washington Post]? They are all fake news!"
It should be noted that on the same day Trump blasted media outlets that have been critical of him, he also retweeted a promotion for Fox News host Eric Bolling's new book, which is complimentary of the president.
Several CNN employees anonymously gave their take on the retraction controversy in interviews with BuzzFeed News. The network staffers described their current work environment as depressed, with one source deeming the Scaramucci story a "massive break in protocol."
One CNN reporter believed that their outlet was suffering from a double standard during the Trump administration, asserting that the retracted story would not have prompted resignations if it had occurred on a network that was not continuously pummeled by the president on social media.
"I think it's also fair to wonder if they'd have resigned in a different climate, and over a different story," the reporter said. "Trump is definitely the X factor here."
Another CNN source believed it was unfair for the network to receive so much flack for admitting to making a mistake, asserting "this is the opposite of fake news."
"If [CNN President Jeff Zucker] lit himself on fire, it wouldn't appease the pro-Trump media," concluded another CNN source.