ABC News, under fire since an erroneous Friday report claiming that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn would testify that the president ordered him to contact Russians while a candidate for president, has responded by suspending ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross for four weeks.
ABC News called the mistake a “serious error,” when before it had attempted a “clarification” and then a “correction.”
Ross and ABC News had been criticized by right-leaning media for making the error and responding as mentioned while also tanking the stock market.
This evening we’ve learned Ross has been suspended without pay.
In case you missed it, ABC News made headlines for the all of the wrong reasons regarding its reporting on the Flynn plea. The Washington Post went so far as to call “cowardly” the initial “clarification” released by ABC, a statement that later turned into a “correction.”
The initial report said that Trump, while a presidential candidate, ordered Flynn to contact Russians.
President Trump addressed the Flynn guilty plea twice on Saturday, once to reporters and once on Twitter.
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” he tweeted.
Flynn, on Friday, entered a guilty plea and pledged to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Earlier Saturday, The Washington Post and others reported the president told reporters both that he is not worried about the plea and that he is pleased that “what has been shown is no collusion.
“There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Flynn, a 58-year-old retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, accepted responsibility for his actions in a written statement: “My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country.”
Immediately after Flynn’s plea, White House lawyer Ty Cobb sought to put distance between Trump and the ex-aide, saying, “Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.”
Trump grew close to Flynn during the campaign. The general was a vocal and reliable Trump surrogate, known for leading crowds in “Lock her up” chants regarding Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. After his election victory, Trump elevated Flynn as his top national security adviser.
But, Flynn’s White House tenure was short-lived. He was forced to resign in February following news reports revealing that Obama administration officials had informed the Trump White House that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a fact at odds with the public assertions of Vice President Mike Pence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.