ABC News has just announced that it has suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay after Ross was forced to correct a bombshell on-air report about Michael Flynn.
"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," ABC said in a statement. "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," the statement added. "We fell far short of that yesterday."
Citing a single anonymous source, Ross told viewers during an ABC special report on Friday morning that Flynn was prepared to testify that Donald Trump, as a candidate for president, told him to contact Russians.
During Friday's edition of "World News Tonight," Ross walked back his report, telling viewers that the source who had provided the initial information for his story later told him that it was as president-elect, not as a candidate, that Trump asked Flynn to contact Russians.
An ABC News tweet about the report was retweeted about 25,000 times before being deleted.
Ross' incorrect report prompted a dramatic reaction in the financial markets, and the Dow fell more than 350 points.
Brian Ross statement:
My job is to hold people accountable and that's why I agree with being held accountable myself.— Brian Ross (@BrianRoss) December 3, 2017
Trump weighs in:
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