ABC News apologized Wednesday for accidentally reporting that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had pleaded guilty to five charges of manslaughter.
“We regret and apologize for the false lower third graphic that aired during our special report,” said the network. “We are investigating how incorrect information was in our system and how and why it was allowed to air. We apologize to our viewers and to Mr. Manafort. There simply is no excuse for this sort of mistake.”
The report aired briefly during ABC’s coverage of an executive order President Trump plans to sign which is expected to end his policy of separating the families of undocumented migrants at the U.S. border.
You can watch the moment below.
Though it happened in a flash, the error is one of the biggest on-air fumbles for the network since the famously false reporting of star reporter Brian Ross.
In December, Ross reported on-air that Donald Trump had asked Gen. Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians during his 2016 race. The news seemed to confirm all the suspicions of those looking for a smoking gun showing collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia and sent the markets tumbling.
Ross however erred. The true story was that Trump made the request of Flynn only after he had triumphed in the 2016 race. A small but significant difference, rendering the news essentially a non-story.
Ross was ultimately suspended without pay for four week and demoted to a less visible position within ABC.