WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Post has been forced to walk back their original claim that Donald Trump, while still President, had told a Georgia elections investigator in December 2020 to “find the fraud” as it pertained to the 2020 presidential election when a recording of the phone call in question was discovered in the “trash” folder of the investigator’s device.
The Washington Post – which now faces wide-scale criticism for attributing quotes in the story to “anonymous sources” that ended up being incorrect – has issued a lengthy correction on their original January 9 story, whose date has now been changed to March 11 as a result of the correction.
“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,” the WaPo correction states. “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 headline and text of this story have been corrected to remove quotes misattributed to Trump.”
The WaPo gaffe has increased discussion and scrutiny over news articles in the media that frequently rely on quotes and information attributed to “anonymous sources,” as their reliability and authenticity can often be called into question.
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After the WaPo issued their correction Trump put out a statement thanking the newspaper for doing so, while claiming that the story was a “hoax” from the beginning and complaining that Republicans are being unfairly targeted by the media.
“You will notice that establishment media errors, omissions, mistakes, and outright lies always slant one -way—against me and against Republicans. Meanwhile, stories that hurt Democrats or undermine their narratives are buried, ignored, or delayed until they can do the least harm—for example, after an election is over. Look no further than the negative coverage of the vaccine that preceded the election and the overdue celebration of the vaccine once the election had concluded. A strong democracy requires a fair and honest press. This latest media travesty underscores that legacy media outlets should be regarded as political entities—not journalistic enterprises.”
This story is not related to a separate January 3 piece WaPo ran on an audio recording where Trump had urged Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes necessary to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden.