Update: Just hours after he told a group of reporters that he’s “not worried” about Mike Flynn’s decision to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller because – as Trump put it – “there’s been absolutely no collusion and we’re prefectly happy with that,” the president has weighed in on ABC’s decision to suspend World News Tonight’s Brian Ross.
“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!”
Yesterday, Ross fraudulently reported that Flynn was set to testify that Trump ordered him to contact the Russians “during the campaign” when – in fact – Flynn had testified that the order happened during the transition, and was handed down by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
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
Notably, Trump has revived the “Russia, Russia, Russia” expression he used in a tweet attacking the Democrats last week following reporters that Flynn might’ve flipped because his lawyers had decided to cut off contact with Trump’s legal team.
* * *
Having suffered a massive backlash from their attempt to downplay a fraudulent story with a “clarification,” ABC News has upgraded their contrition to a “serious error” and suspended the veteran reporter Brian Ross who wrote the story.
As a reminder, 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.
The left erupted in excitement…
But then, during Friday’s edition of “World News Tonight,” Ross corrected 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.
The rest of the world then erupted over such an egregious error that confirmed every emotions-over-intelligence ‘fake media’ shot that Trump has ever sent.
The initial “clarification” has been upgraded to a “serious error” as ABC attempts to put this fire out.
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.
While it might be nice for Ross to have a month off over the Christmas holidays, many are asking for refunds in their brokerage accounts from the market’s reaction to his “serious error.”