U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

President Trump says ABC News reporter Brian Ross should be fired

Incident Details

Trump tweet about Brian Ross
December 9, 2017

On Dec. 9, 2017, President Trump tweeted that ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross “should be immediately fired.”

In the tweet, Trump criticized both Ross and CNN for misreporting news stories related to the ongoing Russia investigation.

On Dec. 1, Ross incorrectly reported that Trump, while a presidential candidate in 2016, had directed campaign adviser Michael Flynn to reach out to the Russian government. ABC News later acknowledged that the story as reported was inaccurate, because Trump had already won the election — making him president-elect, not just a presidential candidate — at the time when he directed Flynn to contact the Russians. 

After correcting the story, ABC News suspended Ross for four weeks and announced that he would no longer report on stories related to Trump.

On Dec. 8, CNN reported that Donald Trump, Jr. had received an email that included a link to documents that were publicly released by WikiLeaks on Sept. 14, 2016. CNN initially reported that the email had been sent on Sept. 4 — suggesting that the Trump campaign had received access to the documents nine days before the documents were made public. The story was inaccurate, and CNN later corrected it to say that the email was actually sent to Trump, Jr. the same day the documents were released to the public.

In a statement, CNN said that its reporters had followed editorial guidelines and would not be disciplined.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].