After 24 years with ABC News, Brian Ross announced on Monday that he's parting ways with the network. The decision comes a little over six months after Ross falsely reported that Donald Trump ordered adviser Mike Flynn to contact Russian officials during the 2016 campaign — a claim that sent the stock market diving and left the Democrats' salivating over the belief they'd finally got their evidence of "collusion" to take down Trump.
"After a great run of 24 years, we have decided to pack up and move on from ABC News, an organization that has meant so much to us," Ross and longtime executive producer Rhonda Schwartz said in a statement Monday. "While we are signing off from ABC News, we are hardly leaving investigative journalism. There is much more to do."
ABC News president James Goldston bid farewell to the pair in a memo to employees. "They've exposed government corruption at every level, international human rights abuses and fraud, uncovered dangerous working conditions, sexual abuse cover-ups and dishonest business practices," said Goldston. "Their work has led repeatedly to real changes in policy in the U.S. and around the world. Over the years they have built a team of the best investigative journalists in our industry, and they leave behind an outstanding group that will continue to break stories for many years to come. … We wish them well in their next chapter."
Despite Goldston's high praise and optimism about Ross' future, the investigative reporter will likely be most remembered for his infamous false report that has made just about every headline announcing his departure from the network. In its report on Ross parting ways with ABC, Page Six cites his "botched report on ousted White House national security adviser Flynn that reported President Trump directed Flynn to make contact with Russian officials." Variety also cites the "erroneous Trump report" in their piece on Ross leaving ABC.
Here's the statement ABC issued concerning Flynn's "serious error" and his one-month suspension last December:
The Daily Wire provided the following summary of the incident in a report on Ross' one-month suspension:
The “serious error” came when Ross reported on live television that Flynn was prepared to testify that then-candidate Donald Trump told him to contact Russian officials — a statement with serious implications as it suggests that the Trump campaign and Russian officials possibly “colluded” during the 2016 presidential election.
ABC News finally corrected the mistake after nearly eight hours — a period in which the stock market took a direct hit as a result of the false report. The correction stated that it was president-elect Donald Trump who instructed Flynn to reach out to Russian officials, signifying that whatever transpired happened after the election.
While, no doubt, the left-leaning mainstream media was gravely disappointed to discover that Ross' report was false and the "collusion" evidence remained as elusive as ever, his truly unforgivable sin was allowing himself to fall right into Trump's "fake news media" narrative for all the world to see.