- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A mangled quote by ABC News about White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s job performance forced the network to apologize late Tuesday.

Complaints by former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer regarding the way “Nightline” represented his opinions prompted him to defend President Trump’s attacks on the media. The network said it would fix a Monday segment that chopped comments about Mr. Spicer that could be misconstrued.

“Nightline aired a segment Monday night about the first three days of the new administration including Sean Spicer’s statement to the press on Saturday,” the network said in statement, The Hill reported Wednesday. “As part of the report, we interviewed former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. In editing the piece for air, his quote was shortened and as a result his opinions mischaracterized. We are fixing the piece online to include his full quote and context. We apologize and regret the error.”

At issue was the Mr. Fleischer’s reaction to the press secretary’s comments to the press on Jan. 21, which involved the estimated size of Inauguration Day crowds.

“It looks to me if the ball was dropped on Saturday, Sean recovered it and ran for a 1st down on Monday,” the former George W. Bush press secretary originally told the network.

“Here is how they chopped my quote: ‘It looks to me if the ball was dropped on Saturday’ after ABC referred to ‘deliberate falsehoods,’” Mr. Fleischer tweeted Tuesday night. “If this is how the press reports, Trump is right to go after them. When the press distorts someone’s quote and twists their words, we all have a problem.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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