Two months after its story helped fuel President Trump’s impeachment, the Washington Post admitted Monday it wrongly attributed quotes to Trump in a phone call with a Georgia election official.
In its January report, the Post reported Trump told the official in Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office, Frances Watson, to “find the fraud” in the 2020 election result and that she would be a “national hero” if she succeeded.
But a recording of the Dec. 23 call released last week by the Wall Street Journal tells a different story. Trump said Watson would be “praised” when the “right answer comes out.” He encouraged her to review mail-in ballots in the Democratic stronghold of Fulton County.
Watson replied to Trump: “I can assure you that our team and the (state investigators), that we are only interested in the truth and finding the information that is based on the facts.”
Trump officially lost Georgia by fewer than 12,000 votes.
See the Post’s corrrection:
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) March 15, 2021
The Post cited an anonymous official as its source.
During the impeachment trial in January, Democrats used the false quotes in the Post story to make their case. An impeachment manager contended Trump was “asking the official to say there was evidence of fraud when there wasn’t any.”
FLASHBACK: Democrats used the fake Washington Post “find the fraud” quote that was retracted today in the Trump impeachment trial
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 15, 2021
A county prosecutor in Georgia now is investigating the election results. And the secretary of state’s office is reviewing the phone calls about the dispute.
Watson previously told a local reporter she was surprised by Trump’s call but did not feel she was being pressured.
Trump criticized Raffensperger after a phone call with the state’s top election official.
“I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia,” Trump tweeted Jan. 3. “He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”
I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the “ballots under table” scam, ballot destruction, out of state “voters”, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
Raffensperger replied that what the president said was “not true” and the truth “will come out.
Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out https://t.co/ViYjTSeRcC
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021