(National Sentinel) Financial Loss: President Donald J. Trump said Saturday that anyone who lost money in the stock market Friday after it fell on an initial report from ABC News regarding former national security advisor Michael Flynn should file suit against the network to recoup those losses.
“People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of ABC News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused – many millions of dollars!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
In what came off as a bombshell report early Friday morning, Ross — citing an anonymous source — reported that Trump directed Flynn to make contact with Russian officials while he was still a candidate.
The claim appeared to support long-standing allegations from many Democrats and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton that the Trump campaign was colluding with Moscow against Trump’s rival.
The report caused a major stock market drop, though it largely recovered later in the day.
However, Ross was forced to issue a correction later Friday during the network’s “World News Tonight” broadcast, saying that his anonymous source changed their story late in the day to claim that Trump asked Flynn to contact Russian officials as president-elect, not as a candidate.
The corrected version of the story is much less impactful because it is customary for incoming administrations to make contact with foreign governments to discuss issues. In this case, Flynn had contacted Russian diplomats, ostensibly on the president-elect’s instructions, to discuss ISIS and Syria, other reports stated.
“[A] clarification tonight on something one of Flynn’s confidants told us and we reported earlier today,” Ross said during last night’s newscast. “He said the president had asked Flynn to contact Russia during the campaign.
“He’s now clarifying that saying, according to Flynn, candidate Trump asked him during the campaign to find ways to repair relations with Russia and other world hot spots. And then after the election, the president-elect asked him to contact Russia on issues including working together to fight ISIS,” Ross said.
The network suspended Ross four weeks without pay, a decision that Trump praised in a later tweet.
“Congratulations to @ABC News for suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt. More Networks and ‘papers’ should do the same with their Fake News!” he wrote.
This is not the first occasion where Ross has made a major reporting error. In 2012 he was forced to apologize after suggesting that a member of the so-called Tea Party was responsible for the Aurora, Colorado, shootings.
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