Last updated on March 18, 2021
WaPo’s Greg Miller’s “main takeaway from ODNI report is that America’s enemies learned more from Russia-2016 about how to muck around in U.S. elections than the U.S. learned/did about how to stop it.” It didn’t stop Russia from trying to interfere again, although this time the Russians relied more on proxy narratives pushed by the usual suspects, some of whom still want that Trump endorsement for 2022.
The first story on Jan. 3 reported that Trump repeatedly urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to alter the vote during an hour-long phone call. The Post published the full audio and transcript of that call. (This isn’t the one that got a correction.)
The Washington Post recently issued a high-profile correction to January reporting about one of two known calls in which Donald Trump urged Georgia officials to find evidence to overturn the state’s election results. Here’s a guide about what happened: https://t.co/DKkHNsR1w6 pic.twitter.com/3qH7r2gUhA
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) March 16, 2021
The correction, meanwhile, didn’t change the substance of the story: The call happened during an ongoing investigation that could impact the presidential election.
It’s also being used by Trump and others to make inaccurate and misleading statements online. Here are some of the headlines we’ve seen on social media:
- “BREAKING: The Washington Post has retracted their story about Pres. Trump’s call with a Georgia election investigator.”
- “Explosive Anti-Trump Election Report Just Completely Fell Apart.”
- “BOMBSHELL: Another anti-Trump lie was just exposed.
Those headlines leave the wrong impression. The newspaper did not retract its story. The recording of the call shows Trump insisting he won the state and telling the official that if she found evidence revealing fraud she would be “praised.”
And the posts ignore an earlier story that showed Trump pressuring another official in the state to question the results in Georgia. That one had audio of the call from the start.
"Our Supreme Court and our courts didn't have the courage to overturn elections" — Trump pic.twitter.com/yYdxRP4Uqf
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 16, 2021
Impeachment 1.0 exposed the Hunter/Burisma conspiracy theory as utterly baseless Russian propaganda. So anyone peddling that debunked allegation in advance of the 2020 election was not “duped” but was instead a willing accomplice of Russian attempts to interfere in the election.
— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) March 17, 2021
Kissing the ring: Inside the GOP courtship of Trump’s endorsement. https://t.co/bW4LKaaJom
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 17, 2021
Why it matters: The former president’s endorsements could clear the field in competitive Republican primaries. Depending on how vengeful he’s feeling, and how many challengers to same-party incumbents he backs, they also could jam the party establishment.
The big picture: Past presidents have typically paused before wading into domestic politics. Less than two months after leaving office, Trump has endorsed more than a dozen Republicans — a sign of his determination to sustain control of the GOP.
Behind the scenes: It’s not just aspiring candidates. Sitting GOP House members and senators are calling on him at Mar-a-Lago.
- Trump plans to endorse Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) soon, according to a source familiar with Trump’s thinking.
- An endorsement would be no surprise — Paul is a friend, golfing buddy and prominent cable news defender of Trump — but the timing would be noteworthy, given Trump is sitting on other requests from incumbents.
- Even members seen as facing largely safe reelections are asking for Trump’s early endorsement to ward off serious primary challengers — call it the Thom Tillis path.
- Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) reached out to Trump recently to ask for his backing. Their requests remain “under consideration,” says a source familiar with the situation.
- Spokespersons for Young and Lankford did not respond to a request for comment.
Between the lines: Since leaving office, Trump has endorsed some incumbents he knows well, including Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas, Tim Scott of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana, as well as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster….
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