ABC News has suspended Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent, for four weeks without pay after his erroneous report on Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump. Ross reported that Flynn would testify that President Trump had directed him to contact Russian officials during Trump’s candidacy for the president post.
Trump in fact directed Flynn to do so after he’d won the election, and he was president-elect.
Flynn pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, cutting a cooperation deal in Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into election interference.
Ross said a confidant of Flynn’s tipped him off to the story.
“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,” ABC said in statement published by the New York Times. “The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.
ABC added that it “fell far short” of getting the story correct and retaining trust with its audience.
Trump praised Ross’s suspension on Twitter, calling the initial report “horrendously inaccurate and dishonest.”
Congratulations to @ABC News for suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt. More Networks and “papers” should do the same with their Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017