ABC News’ Brian Ross suspended four weeks after false Michael Flynn report sent markets into chaos

ABC News’ Brian Ross reported that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had cut a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and he was set to testify that “candidate” Donald Trump had directed him to call Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Screenshot: ABC News

ABC News issued a major correction twelve hours after the bogus report had roiled markets and fueled wild speculation that Trump impeachment was imminent.

The glaring issue with the report is that is neither abnormal nor illegal for presidential transition teams to engage in initial foreign affairs. Not only did the transition team, headed by Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, reach out to the Russians, it did with 12 other foreign governments as well.

Fox News later reported that the senior Trump official who directed Flynn to reach out to Ambassador Kislyak was K.T. McFarland, who became the deputy national security adviser before resigning in April.

Now, ABC News has announced that it is taking disciplinary action against Ross:

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.

It is a serious punishment for the journalistic malpractice, but some might ask why he is still with ABC News after a false report about the Aurora shooting that a “tea party member” named “Jim Holmes” was a suspect in the mass murder. Not only was there no tea party member involved, but the innocent man caught up in the phony report suffered immensely for it.

“An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted,” the apology read at the time.

It appears that “fake news” is being held up as a “conservative” problem, when it is actually a long-running mainstream media tradition. No “fake news” report on the right, however, has led to a market dive, like Brian Ross’s has.



Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Kyle Becker


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles