Tags: abc news | brian ross

Trump Slams ABC After Reporter Suspended for Inaccurate Flynn Reporting

Image: Trump Slams ABC After Reporter Suspended for Inaccurate Flynn Reporting
Brian Ross (ABC News)

Sunday, 03 Dec 2017 11:46 AM

ABC News apologized Saturday for a "serious error" and suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay for the network's incorrect Michael Flynn report.

Ross had initially reported Friday that during the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump had directed Flynn to make contact with the Russians. Ross later clarified the report, saying his source had actually said that Trump asked Flynn to contact the Russians as president-elect, not before the election, about issues including working together to fight ISIS. The network was widely criticized for not immediately correcting the report. It issued a correction later in the evening.

"We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday," ABC News said in a statement from Heather Riley, its vice president of communications. "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."

On Sunday, President Donald Trump blasted ABC and Ross in a tweet.

The incident was not Ross' first publicly known problem with his reporting. In 2012, ABC News was forced to apologize after Ross incorrectly linked a member of a local tea party group to the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

And in 2001, Ross reported that Iraq's Saddam Hussein could have been the source of anthrax attacks in the United States. 

Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush tweeted Saturday that the White House had told Ross his report was wrong before he aired it, but he ran with the story anyway.

ABC's Terry Moran backed up Fleisher's account. Ross himself tweeted Saturday night that it is his job to hold others accountable, so he has no problem being held accountable himself:

President Donald Trump, a frequent critic of the mainstream press, chimed in as well:

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"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," ABC wrote.
abc news, brian ross
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2017-46-03
Sunday, 03 Dec 2017 11:46 AM
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