President Donald Trump’s phone call with Frances Watson, chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, took place 0n January 9, 2021. He was vilified by the Washington Post with an article entitle:
Washington Post’s Trump Blunder
‘Find the fraud’: Trump pressured a Georgia elections investigator in a separate call legal experts say could amount to obstruction
The Washington Post and other media sources have now had to change the headline and issue a correction as of March 11, 2021:
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.
The AP printed the following on March 16, 2021:
ATLANTA (AP) — In a story January 9, 2021, about a phone call between then-President Donald Trump and a lead Georgia elections investigator, The Associated Press, based on information provided by a source, erroneously reported that Trump pressed the investigator to “find the fraud” and said it would make the investigator a national hero. A recording of the call made public two months later revealed that Trump did not say either, and instead said that if the investigator looked into Fulton County the investigator would “find things that are gonna be unbelievable.” Trump also told the investigator: “When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised.”
The Washington Examiner reported on Sunday evening on March 14, 2021:
The Wall Street Journal first published audio last week of the roughly six-minute call on Dec. 23, 2020 between Trump and Frances Watson, the chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, in which Trump urged her to look for fraud in mail-in ballots in Fulton County, where much of Atlanta is located.
[T]he audio shows that early reports in January about that call, based on anonymous sourcing, misquoted Trump. In those reports, Trump was quoted as urging Watson to “find the fraud,” and if she did so, the investigator would be a “national hero.”
Outlets such as CNN published these quotes, corroborating what was first reported by the Washington Post. While CNN’s version, reliant on a single anonymous source, remains unchanged, the Washington Post stuck a long correction note to the top of its report.
Both CNN and the Washington Post reported previously that state officials said they did not believe a recording of the Trump-Watson call existed, but in recent days both have new reports that say officials found the recording in Watson’s trash folder on her device while responding to a public records request.
The Democrats also used the phony “find the fraud” quote in the Senate 2021 impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, who was not convicted.
Phone Call Transcript
Operator: Ms. Watson, the president.
President Donald Trump: Hello, Frances. How are you?
Frances Watson: Hello, Mr. President. I am actually doing very well.
Trump: Good. Well you have a big fan in our great chief, right? Chief of staff, Mark.
Watson: I did! I met him. I, um, it was a pleasure to meet him yesterday.
Trump: That is great. He’s a great — he was a big success for us. He was a great congressman and then, when you lead by 35 points it’s hard to get people out of there, but I tried very hard, for two years. And we got him, and he’s done a fantastic job. I just wanted to thank you for everything. He told me you’ve been great.
And you know, look, this country is counting on it. Because it’s very interesting. So I won Florida in a record number. Ohio in a record. Texas in a record. Alabama by 40 — 40 points. And I won everything but Georgia. And, you know, and I won Georgia. I know that. By a lot. And the people know it. And, you know, something happened. Something bad happened.
And I hope you’re doing that [inaudible] — you know, I hope you’re going back two years, as opposed to just checking, you know, one against the other because that would just sort of be a signature check that didn’t mean anything.
But if you go back two years, and if you can get to Fulton, you are going to find things that are going to be unbelievable. The dishonesty that we’ve heard from —
Trump: Rudy — you know, just good sources. Really good sources. But Fulton. Fulton is the motherload, you know, as the expression goes. Fulton County —
Trump: And, uh.
Watson: Well, Mr. President, I appreciate your comment. And I can assure you that our team, and the GBI, that we’re only interested in the truth.
Trump: That’s great.
Watson: And finding the information that’s based on the facts. We’ve been working 12-, 16-hour days. And—
Watson: — you know we’re working through it. So I can assure you that. I do appreciate you calling. I know that you’re very, very busy, a very important man, and I’m very honored that you called. And, you know, and quite—
Trump: It’s so important what you’re doing.
Watson: Quite frankly I’m shocked that you would take time to do that, but I am very appreciative.
Trump: Yeah, Mark asked me to do it. He thinks you’re great. You know, you just have the most important job in the country right now, because if we win Georgia — first of all, if we win, you’re going to have two wins. They’re not going to win right now, you know. They’re down. Because the people of Georgia are so angry at what happened to me. They know I won. Won by hundreds of thousands of votes. It wasn’t close.
And Alabama, you know… I won South Carolina in a record. Alabama in a record. Florida in a record. You know, I won Florida by 6- or 700,000 votes. It’s never happened before with a Republican. With all the money they spent. You know, you heard all that, these guys going down, spending a fortune.
And we won Texas by a record. Texas was won by the biggest, the biggest number ever. And it, you know. And Ohio of course. You know that. You know about that. That was won by nine points or something. And it’s… all of it. Iowa. And it never made sense. And, you know, they dropped ballots. They dropped all these ballots.
Stacey Abrams. Really, really terrible. Just a terrible thing.
And I will say this. If and when — I mean, hopefully this will show, because if you go back two years or four years you’re going to see it’s a totally different signature — but, but hopefully when the right answer comes out you’ll be praised. I mean, I don’t know why, you know they’ve made it so hard. They will be praised. People will say, “Great.” Because that’s what it’s about. That ability to check and to make it right. Because everyone knows it’s wrong. There’s just no way.
You know, they had people in Georgia, for instance, that won, and I was way ahead of them, and they won because of me — you know I pulled them, as they call it, coattails — we pulled them across and they say, “There’s no way I beat you by 15 points,” you know. I’ve had that — we’ve had plenty of those calls too.
So, anyway. But whatever you can do, Frances. It’s a great thing. It’s an important thing for the country. So important. You have no idea, it’s so important.
Watson: Well, Mr. —
Trump: And I very much appreciate it.
Watson: Well, I appreciate your call. And I hope you and your family have a very healthy and happy Christmas. And I certainly appreciate you and everything that you’ve done.
Trump: Well, and I appreciate it too, Frances. Do you think they’ll be working after Christmas, to keep it going fast? Because, you know, we have that date of the 6th, which is a very important date.
Watson: Right, right. I know you’ve got that coming up. And I can assure you that I’m going to be working and we’re going to be working. And it’s—
Watson: And I appreciate it. And you know, our team’s out there working, you know. We’ve got pandemic—
Trump: I hear the Georgia, it’s not the FBI, what was it, the BI, right?
Trump: But I hear, I hear they’re fantastic. And I hear that I’m 96% with them, so that’s good, okay.
Trump: But say hello to those guys. Tell them I appreciate it very much. Let ’em all know.
Watson: I will certainly do that.
Trump: You just take care. Call anytime you need, if you need help. Call me. Mark has the number. Mark appreciates it, but I wanted to call you and thank you.
Watson: Well, thank you so much. And you have a good evening.
Trump: Thanks, Frances. Take care. Have a good Christmas and everything. So long. Thanks, Frances.
Watson: Thank you. Goodbye.
Trump: Appreciate it. Bye.