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‘Fake news awardee’ journalist leaves ABC

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By Agence France-Presse

A veteran investigative journalist, who was forced to correct an inaccurate bombshell report about a former aide of President Donald Trump, announced Monday that he was leaving ABC News after a quarter of a century.

Brian Ross, ABC’s chief investigative correspondent, was last December suspended by the network for four weeks without pay over the botched report concerning the Republican president’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn.

The error made Trump’s controversial and much-touted “Fake News Awards” in January that singled out members of the media that the US president has deemed hostile to his administration.

Flynn pleaded guilty on December 1 to one count of lying over his contacts with Russia, as part of a sprawling investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Ross reported that Flynn would testify that the president ordered him to reach out to Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign — news that sent Wall Street shares tumbling.

ABC later said its source in fact indicated that the orders from Trump came during the presidential transition, after the November election.

“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 his collaborator Rhonda Schwartz wrote in a joint statement Monday.

“We leave with enormous gratitude for all those who supported us and helped build the industry’s most robust and honored investigative unit,” they added.

“While we are signing off from ABC News, we are hardly leaving investigative journalism. There is much more to do.” (AFP)