ABC News has apologized for a graphic it aired on former Donald Trump campaign official Paul Manafort.
The network did not reveal the nature of the error or what the graphic said. However, multiple eagle-eyed viewers posted screenshots on Twitter that showed a graphic that read “Manafort Pleads Guilty to 5 Charges of Manslaughter.” Paul Manafort has not pleaded guilty to anything, and he has not been accused of manslaughter. The graphic shared on Twitter is false.
ABC News wrote on the afternoon of June 20, 2018: “We regret and apologize for the false lower third graphic that aired during our special report. 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.”
Here are some of the screen captures shared by viewers of the graphic:
Here are some of the responses from perplexed viewers: “I was watching my local news on ABC when they cut to Trump lying about the crisis at the border. All of a sudden the chyron changed to ‘Manafort Pleads Guilty to 5 Charges of Manslaughter’ before changing back. Anyone else see this? WTF?” wrote one man on Twitter.
“Am I the only that just saw on @ABC it said Manafort pled guilty to 5 counts of manslaughter? Wtf,” wrote another Twitter user. A woman wrote on Twitter, “Manafort pleads guilty to 5 charges of Manslaughter”. I just spit out my coffee. Nice flub ABC News. (Or maybe they know something we don’t??)”
Another woman wrote, “I was watching the abc special report about trump and it flashed and disappeared “manafort pleads guilty to 5 counts of manslaughter” was iy a typo or what?” A man wrote, “Did anyone else just see the ticker on ABC that said Manafort just pled guilty to five charges of manslaughter?!?!?”
A political reporter for USA Today shared the ABC apology with this graphic:
Manafort is currently being held in jail after his bail was revoked after special prosecutor Robert Mueller accused him of witness tampering. According to Fox News, the charges filed against him in October 2017 “included conspiring to launder money and working as an unregistered foreign agent.” Again, Manafort has not been accused of manslaughter. He is expected to stand trial on the financial and registration issues in the fall. Paul Manafort worked as Donald Trump’s campaign manager for a time during the latter part of the 2016 presidential campaign. Mueller is investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russia during the election, a probe that Trump has derided as a political witchhunt.
You can read the actual charges against Paul Manafort here in the indictment that was issued by federal prosecutors working on the Russia probe:
You can also read more about the actual accusations against Paul Manafort here: