On Friday, one of the people named in the story, Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, disputed Frank's reporting and said, "I did nothing wrong".
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves as he is introduced during the CNN presidential debate at The Venetian Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, on December 15, 2015.
An internal investigation at CNN found that the three journalists-assistant managing editor and Pulitzer Prize victor Eric Lichtblau, Lex Haris, executive editor in charge of investigations, and Pulitzer Prize nominee Thomas Frank-didn't follow all the editorial processes in place for their story, though.
Trump also claimed CNN's ratings had been declining - even though the network has seen skyrocketing year-over-year ratings attributable in part to fascination with the tumultuous transition and first months of the Trump administration.
"Wow, CNN had to retract big story on "Russia", with 3 employees forced to resign".
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. "Those are the facts", the CNN Communications account responded shortly afterwards. And according to BuzzFeed, which obtained a leaked memo, CNN is instituting stricter guidelines for publication of Russian Federation stories in the wake of the retraction and resignation.
One social media exchange about the CNN story indicated how feelings about the network were running strong among Trump supporters. O'Keefe and his website have a long history of aiding Republican causes, often with the use of hidden cameras. Wall Street Journal editor John Bussey told Fox's Shepard Smith that "the White House could actually learn from CNN's example" about being forthright when caught saying something untrue. They are all Fake News!'
Scaramucci, who disputed the article, tweeted Saturday that he accepted the apology - calling CNN's retraction a "classy move".