ABC News suspends top journalist over inaccurate Flynn reporting

WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - ABC News said on Saturday it had suspended Brian Ross, its chief investigative correspondent, over an error in his reporting about former national security adviser Michael Flynn which sent U.S. stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields lower on Friday.

"We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday ... 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," ABC News said in a statement.

"Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay," added ABC News, owned by the Walt Disney Co.

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ABC News journalist Brian Ross
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ABC News journalist Brian Ross
ABC NEWS - 7/18/16 - Coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention from the Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio, which airs on all ABC News programs and platforms. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) BRIAN ROSS
20/20 - gallery - 10/1/04 BRIAN ROSS, ELIZABETH VARGAS (ABC/DONNA SVENNEVIK)
THE VIEW - Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News visits 'THE VIEW,' 6/13/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) BRIAN ROSS
THE VIEW - Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News visits 'THE VIEW,' 6/13/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) BRIAN ROSS, RAVEN-SYMONE�
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Coverage of GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 9/20/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. {Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) BRIAN ROSS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Brian Ross on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 3/21/11. GM11 (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
KATIE - 2/27/13 - ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent, Brian Ross appears on KATIE, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images)BRIAN ROSS
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 26 -- Pictured: (l-r) ABC News Correspondent Brian Ross during an interview with host Jay Leno on June 29, 1992 (Photo by Wendy Perl/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 12: Journalist Brian Ross attends a screening of 'The Baader Meinhof Complex' at Cinema 2 on August 12, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 4: Journalist Brian Ross attends the 66th Annual Peabody Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria June 4, 2007 in New York City. The Peabody Awards recognize achievements in radio and television. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
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Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia, and he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors delving into the actions of President Donald Trump's inner circle before he took office.

Soon after, ABC News reported that Flynn, citing a confidant, was prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with Russians when he was a presidential candidate.

Wall Street's main indexes all fell by more than 1 percent after the report.

ABC News later issued a correction that the source clarified that Trump had assigned Flynn and a "small circle of senior advisers" to find ways to improve relations with Russia and other hotspots during the presidential campaign.

"It was shortly after the election, that President-elect Trump directed Flynn to contact Russian officials on topics that included working jointly against ISIS," ABC News said.

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Michael Flynn appears in court on Dec. 1, 2017
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Michael Flynn appears in court on Dec. 1, 2017
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (L) arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is escorted into a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017.
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, where he?s expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Michael Flynn (L), former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives for his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives for his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A man protests outside as Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrives at Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared in court Friday after being charged with lying over his Russian contacts, as part of the FBI's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Michael Flynn (L), former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives for his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with one count of making a false statement to the FBI. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrives at Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared in court Friday after being charged with lying over his Russian contacts, as part of the FBI's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Security stand outside after Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrived at Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared in court Friday after being charged with lying over his Russian contacts, as part of the FBI's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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(Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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