The Washington Post issued a stunning "correction" Monday afternoon about President Donald Trump's December 2020 phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his chief investigator Frances Watkins. The paper originally claimed Trump "pressured a Georgia elections investigator in a separate call legal experts say could amount to obstruction" and said the investigator needed to "find the votes." Now the paper says those "precise words" weren't used and quotes were "misattributed" to Trump. From the story, bolding is mine:
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. 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.” A story about the recording can be found here. The headline and text of this story have been corrected to remove quotes misattributed to Trump.
Here's the updated version of the story.
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.
In fact, he did not use those precise words.
Rather, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize Fulton County, where she would find “dishonesty,” he said.
He also said, “whatever you can do, Frances, it would be — it’s a great thing. It’s an important thing for the country. So important. You’ve no idea. So important. And I very much appreciate it.”
When The Post first reported on the call, state officials said they did not believe that a recording existed. Officials located the recording on a trash folder on Watson’s device while responding to a public records request, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal process.
Watson has not responded to requests for comment. The Post originally withheld her name because of the risk of threats and harassment directed at election officials. In an interview with WSB-TV, she said she was “shocked” by Trump’s call but did not feel pressured by his outreach.
So, what happened? Instead of attributing quotes with audio back up, the paper took the word of an anonymous source about what Trump said. Now, a new audio recording of the call has surfaced and shows Trump never pressured the election official.
This kind of mistake is beyond serious. There's zero accountability in major corporate media anymore, yet they continually insist they're the ones holding the line on the truth. And always remember what should scare you about the media is what *doesn't get exposed." pic.twitter.com/ceBaApCZQ8— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) March 15, 2021
Anyway, it's also worth pondering when was the last time you saw a correction of this gravity that was anywhere near this damaging to a Democratic politician? I'm guessing you have to dig pretty far back.— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) March 15, 2021
The Secretary of State’s office secretly recorded the conversation, mischaracterized its contents to The Washington Post and then attempted to delete the recording. It was recently discovered in a laptop “trash” folder as part of an open records search.— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) March 15, 2021
all of these headlines were built on a lie from washington post. trump never said any of this. some retractions are in order. pic.twitter.com/GIa2dkRBSq— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) March 15, 2021