Investors should sue ABC News over false report on Flynn that battered stock market, says Trump

US President Donald Trump called on investors to sue ABC News after a false report about him caused the stock market to briefly plunge on Dec 1, 2017.
US President Donald Trump called on investors to sue ABC News after a false report about him caused the stock market to briefly plunge on Dec 1, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump called on investors to sue ABC News after a false report about him caused the stock market to briefly plunge on Friday (Dec 1).

ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross told viewers on Friday morning that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Mr Trump, while still a candidate, had told him to contact Russian officials.

The implication that the President himself was connected to his campaign's dealings with Russia sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than points before it recovered.

"People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of @ABC News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused - many millions of dollars!" Mr Trump said on Twitter.

Ms Julie Townsend, a spokesman for Walt Disney Co-owned ABC News, declined to comment on the President's tweet.

The dollar opened higher against all major currency peers, rising as much as 0.7 per cent against the Japanese yen, as investors unwound trades brought on by the erroneous report and demand was helped by the Senate's approval of tax cut legislation.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US.

Mr Ross had said his information was based on a single source that he didn't identify. ABC News later issued a correction saying the source said Mr Trump directed Flynn after the election to contact Russian officials on topics including working together against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The network suspended Mr Ross for four weeks without pay.

The timing of contacts with Russia is central to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the US election to help Mr Trump win.

It is illegal for private US citizens to interfere in relations between the US and foreign governments.