UPDATE: Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett corrected the record during Studio B in the 3PM ET hour on Wednesday (see video).
At 10:15AM ET during America’s Newsroom on Fox News Channel, co-host Martha MacCallum reported that in a gaggle with reporters Wednesday morning White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs claimed that President Obama did not watch election results Tuesday night but rather watched an HBO special about his 2008 campaign.
A tipster contacted NewsBusters questioning that report and after having acquired a transcript of the press gaggle, we have confirmed that the Fox News report was incorrect and Gibbs did not make any such statement.
Gibbs made this statement at the beginning of the untaped discussion with White House reporters:
One thing I should contextualize – the President obviously got updates about the election last night. He did not watch – as I told some of you – did not watch election returns. I wouldn’t read a ton into that since he didn’t actually watch election returns when he was running. If you did watch the movie on HBO – we called him and told him he won Iowa. He did not watch election returns.Clearly Gibbs was simply referencing the HBO documentary as evidence that the President does not routinely watch election returns.
Later in the gaggle, Gibbs was again asked if the President watched the election results. Gibbs reiterated: “He was not sitting in front of the TV watching them. Again, I sent him some e-mail updates and I talked to him....He just doesn’t – I mean, again, and I don't mean to sort of oversimplify this, but he never watched them when he was running. He just doesn’t.”