The Washington Post recently issued a retraction of a “bombshell” report about former President Donald Trump — months after its allegations made a serious political impact.
In a lengthy correction issued on Monday, the newspaper acknowledged that it misattributed a quote to Trump regarding “fraud” in the results of Georgia’s statewide presidential election.
“Only interested in the truth”
The Post claimed in January that Trump told Frances Watson, an official in Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office, to “find the fraud” and that she would become a “national hero” if she did.
As it turns out, however, the anonymously sourced quote was false.
It was the Wall Street Journal that released a recording of Trump’s December phone call, revealing that he actually told Watson that she would be “praised” when the “right answer comes out,” asking her to review mail-in ballots submitted in Democratic-leaning Fulton County.
For her part, she responded that she was “only interested in the truth and finding the information that is based on the facts.”
In its correction this week, the Post admitted that it “misquoted” the former president, writing: “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.”
“Right from the very beginning”
The paper acknowledged that Raffensperger’s release of an audio recording of the call revealed the error.
By the time the correction came out, however, the damage had been done. The false quotes were spread far and wide by Trump’s foes — and Democratic lawmakers even used the supposed comments against him in an impeachment effort following January’s riot on Capitol Hill.
Critics have slammed the newspaper for displaying a typical example of anti-Trump bias using inaccurate claims only to later retract them. Trump issued his own statement denouncing the Post as emblematic of a corrupt and partisan press.
“While I appreciate the Washington Post’s correction, which immediately makes the Georgia Witch Hunt a non-story, the original story was a Hoax, right from the very beginning,” Trump asserted.
The former president went on to declare: “You will notice that establishment errors, omissions, mistakes, and outright lies always slant one way — against me and against Republicans.”