ABC suspends reporter over erroneous report

Journalist Brian Ross' erroneous report sent US stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields lower on Friday.
Journalist Brian Ross' erroneous report sent US stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields lower on Friday.

WASHINGTON • ABC News said it had suspended its chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross over an error in his report about former national security adviser Michael Flynn that sent US stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields lower on Friday.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russia, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors delving into the actions of President Donald Trump's inner circle before he took office.

Soon after, ABC News reported that Flynn, citing a confidant, was prepared to testify that Mr Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians when he was a presidential candidate. Wall Street's main indexes all fell by more than 1 per cent after the report.

ABC News later issued a correction that the source clarified that Mr Trump had assigned Flynn and a "small circle of senior advisers" to find ways to improve relations with Russia and other hot spots during the presidential campaign.

"We deeply regret and apologise for the serious error we made yesterday," ABC said in a statement issued last Saturday.

Mr Trump quickly jumped on Twitter to praise ABC's move: "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!"

NEW YORK TIMES, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline 'ABC suspends reporter over erroneous report'. Print Edition | Subscribe