The Washington Post quietly corrected a story last week that was touted a legitimate bombshell scoop back in January when it reported that in a Dec. 23 phone call with an investigator in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office (which preceded the much-ballyhooed conversation Trump had with Georgia’s Secretary of State himself) former President Trump made comments that could amount to obstruction.
My colleague Bonchie covered the basics here. But the story of the correction — and where the recording was ultimately found — is so much worse than it appears at first glance and Georgia’s Secretary of State’s Office should explain exactly what happened.
The original story as reported by WaPo is here, along with the correction, reproduced below:
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.
There is definitely a bombshell here, but it’s not in the phone call itself. Rather, it lies in the correction and in who — it appears — made up quotes that were never uttered. And, most interestingly, who let the original story go forward as it was without trying to correct the record.