Chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay over his faulty reporting on Michael Flynn, ABC News said Saturday.
Ross said on a special live report Friday that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump asked Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials.
ABC News issued a correction after the explosive report aired, indicating that it was President-elect Trump, not candidate Trump, who had asked Flynn to contact the Russians.
“During a live Special Report, ABC News reported that a confidant of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that then-candidate Donald Trump instructed him to contact Russian officials during the campaign. That source later clarified that during the campaign, Trump assigned Flynn and a small circle of other senior advisers to find ways to repair relations with Russia and other hot spots. It was shortly after the election, that President-elect Trump directed Flynn to contact Russian officials on topics that included working jointly against ISIS,” the correction read.
The news network apologized for the error on Saturday, when it announced Ross’ suspension.
“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. 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,” the statement read.
Ross acknowledged the error, and his punishment Saturday night.
“My job is to hold people accountable and that’s why I agree with being held accountable myself,” the reporter tweeted.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about contacting Russians on Trump’s behalf.