ABC chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross, who broke Friday’s bombshell story about Michael Flynn, will face serious consequences for his incorrect report, ABC executives revealed Saturday.
As news broke Friday morning that Flynn had come to an agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller to plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI, Ross reported exclusively that Flynn agreed to testify that Trump personally ordered him during the campaign to contact Russian operatives.
By Friday evening, Ross spoke to viewers on ABC’s “World News Tonight” and admitted that his initial report was incorrect. Ross said that his source later told him the directive was given during the presidential transition after Trump was elected president. Ross’ story was built around a single source.
As a result of not properly vetting his source’s information, and the massive headache that ensued over the journalism blunder, ABC executives slapped Ross with a four week suspension — without pay.
What did ABC executives say?
According to a statement given to CNN:
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.