WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump escalated a grudge against ABC on Thursday in the wake of the cancellation of “Roseanne,” tweeting at the chief executive of ABC’s parent company.
Trump targeted Robert Iger on Twitter, saying: “Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response.”
Trump specifically complained about an erroneous report last year by an ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross, saying: “He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!”
ABC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweets. The network previously apologized for the report about Michael Flynn and suspended Ross and told him he could no longer report on Trump. ABC confirmed that Ross is back at work following his suspension.
The president also complained to Iger a day earlier. The White House said Trump, who had celebrated the success of Roseanne Barr’s show earlier in the year, was not defending her racist tweet about a former Obama adviser, but wanted to point out media bias against him.
Last year, Ross, citing an unidentified confidant of Flynn, the former national security adviser, reported 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, 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 initially clarifying and not correcting the report. It later issued a correction, saying they “deeply regret and apologize.”
At the time, Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to @ABC News for suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt. More Networks and “papers” should do the same with their Fake News!”
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