After highlighting an Associated Press story that claimed President Donald Trump had threatened the president of Mexico with invasion to get rid of “bad hombres,” The Washington Post has had to walk back that claim.
The story about the “threatened invasion of Mexico” was contained in a larger story about another reportedly testy conversation President Trump had with the Prime Minister of Australia.
The AP story had no named sourcing and contained responses by the Mexican government that the claim was “absolutely false” and “did not occur.” Despite this, the story ran with the headline:
“Trump to Mexico: Take care of 'bad hombres' or US might”
The Washington Post ran with it.
Then things blew up:
And this Pulitzer Prize winner was beguiled by the notion that President Trump would suggest an invasion:
Then somebody finally listened to Mexican and White House officials who said the whole thing wasn't true.
Eventually, an “editor’s note” was added to the bottom of The Washington Post story:
Editor’s note: This article has been updated and a reference to an AP report on the details of a phone conversation between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto removed because they could not be independently confirmed.
T. Becket Adams of The Washington Examiner immediately spotted it:
And the Twitterverse responded with head shakes about “fake news”:
Eventually one of the co-writers of the piece mentioned the unverified news in his story with this one line:
Both the White House and Mexican authorities said the leaders' conversation was lighthearted and constructive.
WaPo still stands by its account of Trump ending his call early with the Australian Prime Minister.