NEW YORK — ABC News on Saturday suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay for his erroneous report on Michael Flynn, which it called a ‘‘serious error.’’
Ross, citing an unnamed confidant of Flynn, the former national security adviser, had reported Friday that then-candidate Donald Trump had directed Flynn to make contact with the Russians.
That would have been an explosive development in the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the election. But hours later, Ross clarified his report on the evening news, saying that his source now said Trump had done so not as a candidate, but as president-elect. At that point, he said, Trump had asked Flynn to contact the Russians about issues including working together to fight ISIS.
ABC was widely criticized for merely clarifying and not correcting the report. It issued a correction later in the evening.
‘‘We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,’’ the network said Saturday.
Ross tweeted: ‘‘My job is to hold people accountable and that’s why I agree with being held accountable myself.’’
Ross has won a slew of journalism awards, including, according to his ABC bio, six George Polk awards, six Peabody awards, and two Emmys.