On Jan. 9, The Post reported that then-President Donald Trump, in a call with Georgia’s lead elections investigator, Frances Watson, had instructed her to “find the fraud.” He mentioned that she could become a “national hero,” reported the newspaper.
In both cases, the quotes were wrong, as The Post has acknowledged in a correction to the story. “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,’”reads the correction, in part….
We asked The Post about claims that the newspaper’s action amounts to a retraction and about its reliance on one source for the quotes. In a statement, The Post responded:
We corrected the story and published a separate news story last week — at the top of our site and on the front page — after we learned that our source had not been precise in relaying then President Trump’s words. We are not retracting our January story because it conveyed the substance of Trump’s attempt to influence the work of Georgia’s elections investigators.
That, it did. Misreporting the words of the highest elected official in the land is a serious lapse — and one that, in this case, seems so unnecessary: The existence of the call itself is a towering exclusive. When it comes to phone calls, the only good sources are the ones who are dialed in. The former president’s partisans will attempt to memorialize The Post’s story as a fabrication or “fake news.” But a central fact remains: As the Journal’s recording attests, Trump behaved with all the crooked intent and suggestion that he brought to every other crisis of his presidency