While in office, former President Donald Trump's concerns about "fake news" often drew wrath or scorn from secular media, including The Washington Post. But now, it seems that at least in one instance, fake news has given over to the truth.
The Washington Post has issued a correction to its March 11 story, which claimed that Trump pressured Georgia elections official Frances Watson, lead elections investigator, to "find the fraud" in a December phone call. The original report said Trump told Watson she would be a "national hero" if she identified fraud. The Washington Post's correction reads as follows:
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 correction came after The Wall Street Journal reported on the audio of the call, unobtainable at the time of The Washington Post's reporting. Several media outlets at the time misquoted Trump's exact words to Watson based on Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs' account of what Watson recalled from the conversation.
After hearing the tape, it's clear that [Watson's] recollection accurately portrayed the president's assertions that there was fraud to uncover and that she would receive praise for doing so," Fuchs said Monday in a statement to NBC News.
In an emailed Monday statement, Trump thanked The Washington Post for its corrections but called the misquotes a "media travesty," adding that "You will notice that establishment media errors, omissions, mistakes, and outright lies always slant one way—against me and against Republicans."
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared her reaction to the paper's corrections on Twitter with a nod to an appearance on Fox's The Sean Hannity Show:
Surprise, Surprise! The Washington Post falsely attributed quotes to President Trump in a phone call with a Georgia election investigator based on an "anonymous source." They have now corrected the story MONTHS later...— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) March 16, 2021
Discussing with @seanhannity on @FoxNews at 9:25 PM ET!
Senior editor Mollie Hemingway linked to The Federalist's article on the topic—with a headline that says it all—in her own tweet:
Washington Post Accuses Trump Of A Crime Based On Fabricated Quotes https://t.co/VlO2H9zons— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 16, 2021
And Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan offered a pithy tweet of his own:
President Trump was right. Fake news!— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) March 15, 2021
Wonder how many Pinocchio's the @washingtonpost will give itself? https://t.co/itEUlbH7CT
Georgia election officials ultimately rejected Trump's claims of election fraud after investigations and audits of the November results.
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