The New York Times reportedly misrepresented a conversation it claimed showed that former President Donald Trump pressed the Justice Department to declare the election as “corrupt.”
The Times’ report claimed that the former president pressured then-acting attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen and his deputy Richard P. Donoghue on claims that voter fraud occurred during the 2020 presidential election. The publication said that the conversation took place during a phone call on Dec. 27 last year and cited notes made by Donoghue to report on their exchange.
The Times reported that Trump told Donoghue to “[j]ust say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” and that Donoghue told the then-president that “the department had no power to change the outcome of the election.”
The story: Margot Cleveland, a senior contributor to The Federalist, rebuked the Times’ reporting of the exchange. She writes that a review of the notes, which can be found on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s website, shows that Trump made the “just say that the election was corrupt” in a separate part of the conversation.
According to Cleveland, Donoghue told Trump that the DOJ would “look at whether there were more ballots in PA than registered voters.” He made the promise after the former president claimed that there are only 5 million voters in Pennsylvania and 5.25 million votes casts.
Trump described the situation as “clearly fraud,” according to the handwritten notes.
“Possibly true?” Donoghue added in a parenthetical.
Donoghue then told the former president that they “should be able to check on that quickly but understand that the DOJ can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election, doesn’t work that way.”
“[I] don’t expect you to do that,” Trump responded, “just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.”
Conclusion? Cleveland says this shows that Trump asked the DOJ to declared the election “corrupt” in case they found that there were more votes cast in Pennsylvania than there are voters. However, the Times portrayed it in a way that suggests Trump instructed the DOJ to say the election was marred by fraud regardless of their findings, she writes.
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