CNN has retracted a story claiming that an adviser to the Trump campaign is under Senate investigation for meeting with the head of a Russian state-backed investment fund at the Davos economic forum.
The now-deleted report cited an anonymous congressional source as saying that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating ties between several figures in the Trump camp, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and financier Anthony Scaramucci, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a Russian sovereign fund that manages direct foreign investments into the Russian economy.
Scaramucci, who was part of Trump’s transition team, met with Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the RDIF, at the World Economic Forum in Davos last year. According to CNN, congressional investigators wanted to know if they had discussed lifting US sanctions against Russia. A spokesperson for the Russian fund said they hadn’t, while Scaramucci told CNN that there was “nothing there.”
The report implied that RDIF had been flagged by US investigators for its ties to Vnesheconombank, a Russian state-owned bank that ran the fund until June of 2016, when RDIF was restructured as an independent entity by the Russian government.
The news channel redacted the Thursday story on Friday, saying that it “did not meet CNN’s editorial standards” and apologized to Scaramucci.
Breitbart News, a pro-Trump news outlet, claimed credit for making CNN withdraw the story, which it described as a “conspiracy theory hit piece.” Earlier, it had cited its own sources as saying that no investigation into the meeting was underway because it had already been looked at and deemed to be appropriate.