'I'm very angry about it': ABC News president unleashes scathing rant to staff as Brian Ross is BANNED from covering Trump stories after his massive error during false Flynn story
- Brian Ross, ABC's chief investigative reporter, was suspended for four weeks
- He incorrectly reported Trump as candidate asked Flynn to reach out to Russians
- It took seven hours for network to correct it to say Trump was President-elect
- ABC president delivered cutting speech to his staff about the massive error?
The network's chief investigative reporter Ross felt the full force of his boss, who banned him from covering any stories related to the president.
The initial report, which aired around 11am Friday during an ABC News' Special Report, cited a source claiming that a close associate of the former national security advisor Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump 'directed him to make contact with the Russians' during the course of the 2016 presidential race.
But around 6.30pm, Ross issued an on-air 'clarification' that their source had explained it was only after the election that 'President-elect Trump?asked [Flynn] to contact Russia on issues including working together to fight ISIS'.
In a scathing rant to his employees, ABC News president James Goldston said he has never felt 'disappointment and rage' comparable to what he has felt in the fallout of the mistake and that the network was conducting a 'full review'.
Brian Ross (above) is being accused of having a long history of getting facts wrong by fellow journalists and even a colleague at ABC News after he was suspended by the network over claiming that President Donald Trump ordered Michael Flynn to contact Russia
ABC News' Brian Ross (left) was suspended without pay for four weeks after he wrongly said on Friday that Donald Trump told Michael Flynn to contact Russia
In a scathing rant to his employees, ABC News president James Goldston said he has never felt 'disappointment and rage' comparable to what he has felt in the fallout of the mistake and that the network was conducting a 'full review'
Audio obtained by CNN from an editorial briefing at ABC picked up Goldston laying into his staff, saying:?'I don't even know how many times we've talked about this, how many times we have talked about the need to get it right,' he added.
'That how we have to be right and not first. About how in this particular moment, with the stakes as high as these stakes are right now, we cannot afford to get it wrong.'?
Goldston raged that ABC News 'spent this weekend getting absolutely pilloried as a news division for reporting fake news.'
'250,000 tweets. One percent positive, 99 percent negative about this news division. Two tweets from the president.'
On Sunday, President Trump took to Twitter and wrote that the news network should be sued over the 'bad reporting.'
'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 said.
The day before he?tweeted about the suspension.
'Congratulations to ABC News for suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt,' he wrote.
'More Networks and 'papers' should do the same with their Fake News.'
Also on Saturday, Don Jr tweeted: 'ABC retracts their misleading 'bombshell' and removes their tweet approximately 12 hours after they knew it to be false.'?
On Sunday, Trump tweeted (above) that people who lost money when the Stock Market dipped should sue ABC News for damages over Ross' 'bad reporting'
Goldston's rant continued: 'If it isn't obvious to everyone in this news division, we have taken a huge hit and we have made the job of every single person in this news division harder as a result.
'It's much, much harder. We have people in Washington who are going to bear the brunt of this today and in the days forward.
'Very, very, very, very unfortunate. Really, really angry about it.'
It appears Ross went on air with the story without anyone 'having ever made a decision that we were going to go to air with that information'.
ABC News president James Goldston
'We just went on air with that information,' he said. 'We hadn't approved doing that. And the thing that just kills me about this is all we had to do was wait.
'We had to wait a few minutes. A few minutes after that, the charging documents came out.
'We know that those charging documents had come out, and we had looked to those charging documents, and the charging documents didn't match what we thought the story was. We would have not gone with that story.'
The ABC president also expressed his frustration over the fact it took more than seven hours for the network to correct the mistake. ??
'The thing that compounded our mistake is that not only did we make a mistake, if we had then corrected ourselves right away, again - we wouldn't be in this position. It would have been a very different story,' he said in the audio obtained by CNN.
'But we ended up in the impossible situation where we had actually conflicting information that we said on air, which conflicted with the information that was online. And then it took us seven hours, eight hours to get our story straight. This is not acceptable.
'It's not acceptable. And we will all pay the price for a long time.'???
Ross is also being accused of having a 'long history' of getting facts wrong after he was suspended by the network for four weeks.?
Obama administration former State Department spokesperson Marie Harf claimed on Fox News that Ross has a ' long history of screwing up'.
'Marie Harf says Brian Ross routinely ran stories that were not accurate. 'This was a big screw-up, but he has a long history of screwing up,' a tweet?posted to Fox News Channel's Media Buzz show account reads.?
In addition,?his own colleague at the network, Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran, confirmed in a Twitter exchange with President George W. Bush's former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer another mistake that Ross made in 2001 about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein being behind the anthrax attack on the White House.?
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