Washington Post Corrects Previous Report on Trump Call with Georgia Elections Investigator
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The Washington Post corrected a report from Jan. 9, admitting they misquoted former President Trump. The original report stated Trump told Frances Watson, Georgia’s top elections investigator during a phone call, to “find the fraud” and that she would be “a national hero” if she did so.
The Washington Post added a lengthy correction to the report on March 11.
The report now says, “Two months after publication of this story, the Georgia secretary of state released an audio recording of President Donald Trump’s December phone call with the state’s top elections investigator. The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump’s comments on the call, based on information provided by a source,” at the top of the original story.
“Trump did not tell the investigator to ‘find the fraud’ or say she would be ‘a national hero’ if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find ‘dishonesty’ there. He also told her that she had ‘the most important job in the country right now,'” the updated report says.
The headline and text of the original article have also been altered to mirror the facts of the story, and remove the misattributed quotes of Trump.
The Post made the corrections to the report the day after the Wall Street Journal obtained an audio recording of the phone call between Trump and Watson.
At no point on the recording did Trump say “find the fraud,” but he did say, “If you can get to Fulton, you are going to find things that are going to be unbelievable — the dishonesty.”
Trump also did not say Watson would be a “national hero” on the recording, but he did tell her, “When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised. … People will say, ‘Great.’ Because that’s what it’s about — that ability to check and to make it right.”
Trump released a statement on March 16 addressing the corrections of the original report. “You will notice that establishment media errors, omissions, mistakes, and outright lies always slant one way- against me and against Republicans,” Trump said in the statement.
“In any event, I thank the Washington Post for the correction,” Trump said.
The Post based the original report on one source that was not identified in the Jan. 9 article. They called the source “an individual familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversation.”
The Post identified the source after the recording of the phone call was released.
“The Washington Post reported on the substance of Trump’s Dec. 23 call in January, describing him saying that Watson should ‘find the fraud’ and that she would be a ‘national hero,’ based on an account from Jordan Fuchs, the deputy secretary of state, whom Watson briefed on his comments,” The Washington Post stated.
The Post story was widely shared across many media outlets because of the allegations during the election season. Outlets who shared the article had to correct their original reports as well.