ABC News suspends Emmy-winning correspondent after Project Veritas sting

ABC News suspends Emmy-winning correspondent after Project Veritas sting

ABC News has suspended veteran correspondent David Wright late Tuesday after the conservative group Project Veritas released a recording that showed him saying the network doesn’t care about newsworthy stories, according to a report by The Washington Post

Wright, 56, reports for ABC’s “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America," “Nightline" and "20/20." His reports from hotspots in Iraq and Darfur in 2003 and 2004, respectively, earned him Emmy awards.

An ABC News spokesperson told The Hill on Wednesday that Wright will be reassigned "to avoid any possible appearance of bias" upon his return, the timing of which is unknown.

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"Any action that damages our reputation for fairness and impartiality or gives the appearance of compromising it harms ABC News and the individuals involved," the spokesperson said in a statement. "David Wright has been suspended, and to avoid any possible appearance of bias, he will be reassigned away from political coverage when he returns.”

Project Veritas, which routinely releases undercover videos meant to embarrass members of the media, politicians or liberal groups, released a recording of Wright criticizing his network. Its videos have been criticized for being selectively edited.

At one point in the video, Wright said ABC News is not "terribly interested in voters" when it comes to covering the 2020 presidential election. He mentioned former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE and Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging MORE (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.), three Democratic presidential candidates.

“I don’t think we’re terribly interested in voters. We need the story to move on, and so we’re happy to have Buttigieg be the story last week, and we’re happy to have Klobuchar as a new subject this week, and then when we’re tired of her, we’ll be delighted if Elizabeth Warren kicks ass in Nevada because then we have something new to talk about,” Wright said. 

He also said that ABC's "bosses don’t see an upside in doing the job we’re supposed to do, which is to speak truth to power and hold people accountable.”

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The ABC suspension of Wright comes just months after a video released by Project Veritas in November showed “Good Morning America” anchor Amy Robach caught on a hot mic criticizing her network for not running her reporting on Jeffrey Epstein three years ago.

ABC News in a statement at the time said it had continued to work on the Epstein story.

Robach apologized for the comments and was not suspended.

--This report was updated at 10:40 a.m.