The Washington Post has issued a correction to a January 9 story in which it claimed that then-President Donald Trump had told a Georgia state elections investigator to “find the fraud.” In fact, an audio recording showed Trump said no such thing.
The Post‘s original article was headlined: “‘Find the fraud’: Trump pressured a Georgia elections investigator in a separate call legal experts say could amount to obstruction.” It relied on information from a single anonymous source, described as “an individual familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversation.”
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.
The Washington Examiner reported on Sunday evening:
The Wall Street Journal first published audio last week of the roughly six-minute call on Dec. 23 between Trump and Frances Watson, the chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, in which Trump urged her to look for fraud in mail-in ballots in Fulton County, where much of Atlanta is located.
[T]he audio shows that early reports in January about that call, based on anonymous sourcing, misquoted Trump. In those reports, Trump was quoted as urging Watson to “find the fraud,” and if she did so, the investigator would be a “national hero.”
Outlets such as CNN published these quotes, corroborating what was first reported by the Washington Post. While CNN’s version, reliant on a single anonymous source, remains unchanged, the Washington Post stuck a long correction note to the top of its report …
Both CNN and the Washington Post reported previously that state officials said they did not believe a recording of the Trump-Watson call existed, but in recent days both have new reports that say officials found the recording in Watson’s trash folder on her device while responding to a public records request.
Democrats used the phony “find the fraud” quote in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Trump last month.