ABC News has issued a four-week suspension to chief investigative reporter Brian Ross, who botched a special report following the guilty plea of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
On Friday, Ross appeared during ABC’s breaking news coverage of the Flynn indictment, during which he weighed in on Flynn’s connection to the ongoing federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. It was then that he falsely reported that Flynn would testify that then-candidate Donald Trump had instructed him to make contact with the Russians. This was not the case.
ABC News was forced to issue a retraction later that day, after the report led to speculation that Trump could be impeached. In the retraction, ABC verified that Trump had not in fact directed Flynn to make contact with the Russians until after he was already president-elect.
On Saturday, ABC News issued the following statement, indicating that Ross’ report had not been “fully vetted through our editorial standards process” before he appeared on air:
Shortly thereafter, Ross responded to the suspension on Twitter, in agreement with ABC News’ decision:
Flynn pled guilty on Friday morning to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian officials.