NEW YORK —, who is currently suspended without pay, will no longer cover stories involving President Trump following his erroneous report last Friday about former . The network confirmed Tuesday the order by ABC News President James Goldston.
Goldston expressed his anger over the error on an internal phone call to staff that was leaked to CNN. ABC declined a request by the Associated Press to make Goldston available for an interview Tuesday.
Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay over the weekend. He had reported incorrectly that Mr. Trump, when he was still a candidate for president, had told Flynn to make contact with the Russians. That would have been a big development in the ongoing investigation over whether the Trump campaign worked with Russia to influence the election.
Instead, Ross later corrected his story, based on an unnamed source, to say that Mr. Trump’s instructions came when he was president-elect, not a candidate.
ABC News issued a statement Saturday saying, “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.”
Goldston reportedly told staffers a “full review” would be conducted into what went wrong.
In a tweet, Ross said, “My job is to hold people accountable and that’s why I agree with being held accountable myself.”
The mistake was immediately seized upon by Mr. Trump as an example of “.” The president even claimed that the inaccurate report was a factor in Friday’s stock market tumble. Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday that anyone who lost money in the stock market Friday should consider suing ABC for damages, although stocks quickly recovered.
In the staff call reported by CNN, Goldston said he didn’t think he had ever felt more rage, disappointment and frustration as he did in the aftermath of the botched report.