On Friday, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to make false statements to the FBI. It was also confirmed that Flynn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference. As part of those revelations, ABC News’s Brian Ross reported during a special network event that Flynn is planning to testify that Donald Trump instructed Flynn to contact the Russians. However, Ross stated, and emphasized, that Trump was a candidate when he made that command.
This admission, if true, would be incredibly significant in an investigation looking at whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. However, the problem was that it was not true. ABC News later corrected the report to state that Trump was president-elect when he made the directive, not a candidate.
The correction was too late although. As Ross made the report, stock markets fell and the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummet roughly 300 points in several minutes. ABC News’s tweet with Ross’s report also went viral with over 25,000 retweets.
ABC’s correction — although the network is labelling it a “clarification” — took a significant amount of time. Ross appeared on World News Tonight that Flynn was ordered by candidate Trump to devise policy for improving relations with Russia and other countries but the call for contact did not come until the transition. Since the clarification went on during the evening news, it means that ABC News let the report stand uncorrected for several hours on television. The tweet was also deleted shortly after 8 PM, long after even the clarification aired. A correcting tweet was also sent out by that tweet, as of publication time, stands at roughly 1,000 retweets as opposed to the original’s 26,000.
ABC News did not respond to a request for comment.