The Washington Post has corrected a major story it published in January about the presidential election in the state of Georgia, saying it had “misquoted” then President Donald Trump in a phone call with a state election official. In the December call, Trump was voicing his concerns about alleged fraud.
The original story, which was based on an anonymous source, said that in the call, Trump had told Georgia's top election official to “find the fraud” and that they’d be a “national hero” if they did.
On March 11, the Wall Street Journal revealed audio of the conversation, which showed Trump did not say those things.
“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 Post wrote in its correction.
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, Georgia, asserting she would find “dishonesty” there. He also told her that she had “the most important job in the country right now.”
Numerous national media outlets repeated the erroneous quotes, citing The Washington Post.
During the call, the former president did claim he had won Georgia and that “something bad” had happened with the election in the state.
“I can assure you that our team and the (Georgia Bureau of Investigation), that we are only interested in the truth and finding the information that is based on the facts,” the election official replied, according to the audio released by the Wall Street Journal.
Trump responded to the correction by calling the Post’s original reporting a “media travesty” but thanked the paper for correcting it.
President Joe Biden won Georgia by about 12,000 votes.