President Donald Trump called on investors to sue ABC News after a false report about him caused the stock market to briefly plunge Friday.
ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross told viewers Friday morning that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump, then still a candidate, had told him to contact Russian officials. The implication that the president himself was connected to his campaign’s dealings with Russia sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 350 points before it recovered.
“People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of @ABC News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused – many millions of dollars!” Trump said on Twitter.
Julie Townsend, a spokeswoman for Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC News, declined to comment on the president’s tweet.
The dollar opened higher against all major currency peers, rising as much as 0.7 percent against the Japanese yen, as investors unwound trades brought on by the erroneous report and demand was helped by the Senate’s approval of tax-cut legislation.
Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Ross had said his information was based on a single source that he didn’t identify. ABC News later issued a correction saying the source said Trump directed Flynn after the election to contact Russian officials on topics including working together against the Islamic State. The network suspended Ross for four weeks without pay.
The timing of contacts with Russia is central to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. election to help Trump win. It is illegal for private U.S. citizens to interfere in relations between the U.S. and foreign governments.