WaPo Misquotes Eric Trump, Casts Him as Out of Touch

Eric Trump / Getty Images
• January 18, 2018 12:29 pm


The Washington Post misreported remarks that Eric Trump made on Fox News this week in a way that cast the president's son as out of touch with the average American.

A blog post from the Post‘s Christopher Ingraham highlighted remarks Eric Trump supposedly made during a Wednesday appearance on "Hannity" in which he crowed that his 401(k) retirement account was booming ever since his father took office.

"I just opened up my 401(k), I haven't looked at in a year. It's up by 35 percent. I didn't think retirement was possible," the Post reported Trump as saying.

The notion that Trump was concerned about his retirement prospects led Ingraham to write, "Set aside the fact that Trump, heir to a multibillion-dollar fortune and an already-wealthy businessman in his own right, the returns on a measly $18,500 in annual 401(k) contributions have little bearing on his ability to stop working…"

Ingraham went on to note that half of Americans didn't even have 401(k)'s, making Trump's remark somewhat insensitive to their financial woes.

"Eric Trump’s 401(k) is up by 35 percent, but half of American families don’t even have one," the Post headline read.

The only problem: Trump never actually claimed his own retirement account was doing well. He was simply repeating what people on the street told him.

"Every single day I walked on the street and people come up to me," Trump actually said. "They hugged me. ‘Tell your father we say thank you. You know what, I just opened up my 401(k), I haven't looked at in a year. It is up by 35 percent. I mean, I didn't think retirement was possible.'"

The error was likely caused by Fox News' transcript of the Trump interview, which treated the first and second halves of Trump's sentence as separate thoughts and included a paragraph break halfway through. A preface at the top notes that it is a rush transcript, and that "this copy may not be in its final form and may be updated."

The Post piece has since been updated with the correct quote and a new headline accurately recounting that Trump "says 401(k)s are doing great."

"An earlier version of this incorrectly framed Eric Trump's remarks on Hannity," a correction reads. "He was characterizing what a person on the street said to him, not his own 401(k) account."

Published under: Eric Trump