WASHINGTON – ABC News said on Saturday it had suspended Brian Ross, its chief investigative correspondent, over an error in his reporting about former national security adviser Michael Flynn which sent U.S. stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields lower on Friday.
“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday … 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,” ABC News said in a statement.
“Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay,” added ABC News, owned by the Walt Disney Co.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia, and he 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 Trump directed him to make contact with Russians when he was a presidential candidate.
Wall Street’s main indexes all fell by more than 1 percent after the report.
ABC News later issued a correction that the source clarified that Trump had assigned Flynn and a “small circle of senior advisers” to find ways to improve relations with Russia and other hotspots during the presidential campaign.
“It was shortly after the election, that President-elect Trump directed Flynn to contact Russian officials on topics that included working jointly against ISIS,” ABC News said.