Report by Brian Ross had said Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump directed him to contact Russian officials during the presidential campaign. It tanked markets and generated an intense reaction. But it wasn’t true.
ABC News has suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross over a fake news report on Michael Flynn and Donald Trump.
The report rocked the stock market in the U.S. and rapidly spread around the world, but it contained a massive error.
Here’s what ABC News said on Twitter:
“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process. As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online.
It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience –- these are our core principles. We fell far short of that yesterday. Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 2, 2017
The Brian Ross report featured a huge mistake. It said that Michael Flynn – who has pled guilty to lying to the FBI – was prepared to testify that Trump ordered him to contact Russian officials during the presidential campaign.
Instead, it turns out that after the election, President-Elect Trump had directed Flynn to contact Russian government officials about cooperation against ISIS.
The original false report seemed to bring up the specter of “collusion,” while the non-fake corrected report did nothing except detail something that is common for all transition teams as a new administration prepares to take office.
As you can imagine, U.S. President Donald Trump was quick to respond:
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
Clearly, the false report from ABC news will further erode trust in the mainstream media.
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