Around the time of the Georgia runoff elections in January, The Washington Post published a story about how President Donald Trump “pressured” the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his chief investigator, Frances Watkins, to “find the votes.” At least two major news outlets have issued corrections.
The Wall Street Journal published audio last week of a December 23 phone call between Trump and Frances Watson, the chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. The audio recording debunked multiple news reports that attributed fake quotes to Trump.
Initial reports by CNN and The Washington Post said that Trump urged Watson to “find the fraud,” telling her she would be a “national hero,” according to archived versions of the stories. The president said neither line, according to the audio recording, and the lines have been cut from both stories. Both outlets cited a single source familiar with the call. It is unknown whether each outlet spoke with the same anonymous source to get the falsified quotes.
“I won everything but Georgia, and I won Georgia, I know that, by a lot, and the people know it, and something happened there, something bad happened,” Trump said on the call. “I hope you go back two years as opposed to just checking one against the other because that would just be sort of a signature check that doesn’t mean anything. But if you go back two years, and if you can get to [Fulton County], you are going to find things that are unbelievable. The dishonesty.”
Watson answered: “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. We’ve been working 12-16 hour days and, you know, we’re working through it. So I can assure you that.”
Toward the end of the call, Trump told Watson that “when the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised.”
On Thursday, The Washington Post issued a lengthy correction to the top of its article, originally published on January 9 under the headline “‘Find the fraud’: Trump pressured a Georgia elections investigator in a separate call legal experts say could amount to obstruction.” The correction says:
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.
CNN issued an editor’s note to the top of its article on Monday that says:
An earlier version of this story, published January 9, presented paraphrasing of the President’s comments to the Georgia elections investigator as direct quotes. The story has been updated following the discovery of an audio recording of the call.
Trump issued a statement through his Save America PAC in response to the correction, saying he “appreciate[s]” the correction. Instead of focusing on the “non-story,” the former president said he would rather see an investigation into voter concerns he has in Fulton County.
I would further appreciate a strong investigation into Fulton County, Georgia, and the Stacey Abrams political machine which, I believe, would totally change the course of the presidential election in Georgia.
Fulton County has not been properly audited for vote or signature verification. They only looked at areas of the State where there most likely would be few problems, and even there they found large numbers of mistakes. We are seeking to find and reveal the large-scale election fraud which took place in Georgia. Many residents agree, and their anger caused them not to turn out and vote for two Republican Senators in the January election.
The Consent Decree signed between Raffensperger and Stacey Abrams was not approved by the Georgia State Legislature, and therefore should be deemed invalid, and the election result changed. Why the Governor and Raffensperger ever approved this Consent Decree is one of the great questions? We look forward to an answer.
You will notice that establishment media errors, omissions, mistakes, and outright lies always slant one way—against me and against Republicans. Meanwhile, stories that hurt Democrats or undermine their narratives are buried, ignored, or delayed until they can do the least harm—for example, after an election is over. Look no further than the negative coverage of the vaccine that preceded the election and the overdue celebration of the vaccine once the election had concluded. A strong democracy requires a fair and honest press. This latest media travesty underscores that legacy media outlets should be regarded as political entities—not journalistic enterprises. In any event, I thank the Washington Post for the correction.
This is an excerpt from TownHall.
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