Political News

Fact checking Trump's barrage of lies over the weekend

Posted November 16, 2020 1:35 p.m. EST

— "I WON THE ELECTION!" President Donald Trump tweeted just before midnight on Sunday night.

Trump did not win the election. So this was a fitting conclusion to his lie-filled weekend barrage of tweets, in which he continued to invent imaginary evidence in support of his attempt to deny Joe Biden's victory.

Almost nothing Trump is saying about the election is true; Twitter affixed a fact check label to more than 30 of his election-related tweets and retweets between Friday and Monday morning. Here's a preliminary breakdown of just some of the false claims he made during that period. The story will be updated as we add more:

The integrity of the election

Trump repeatedly attacked the validity of the election results, tweeting that this was a "RIGGED ELECTION," a "Rigged and Corrupt Election" and a "Rigged Election Hoax." He also tweeted that this was the "most fraudulent Election in history" and that the results are "fake."

Facts First: None of this is true. The election was not rigged, and there is no evidence of any fraud large enough to have changed the outcome. Officials from the Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security, along with state election officials, said in a statement last week: "The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."

The security of ballots

Trump tweeted that there are "millions of ballots that have been altered by Democrats, only for Democrats."

Facts First: This is false. There is no evidence that millions of ballots were altered by Democrats. In fact, there is not currently evidence that ballots were improperly altered by anyone.

Tech glitches

Trump tweeted, "All of the mechanical 'glitches' that took place on Election Night were really THEM getting caught trying to steal votes."

Facts First: Again, not true. Election Day glitches are unfortunate but normal, and there is no evidence of anybody trying to use voting technology to steal votes. In the statement last week, Trump administration officials and state election officials said in bold type: "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Voting deadlines

Trump alleged that there was "voting after the Election was over."

Facts First: There is no evidence of people voting after the election was over. As in previous elections, some states accepted ballots, including military ballots, that were received by elections offices after Election Day -- but they had to be mailed on or before Election Day.

Philadelphia

Trump quoted a 1994 article about absentee ballot fraud in a state Senate election in Philadelphia in 1993; the fraud resulted in a judge taking the rare step of invalidating the Democrat's apparent victory and ordering the Republican apparent loser to fill the seat. Trump then tweeted, "Wow. This is exactly what happened to us. Great courage by judge!"

Facts First: This is false. There is no evidence of a fraud scheme in Philadelphia in the 2020 election.

Observers in Pennsylvania

Trump tweeted, "700,000 ballots were not allowed to be viewed in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh which means, based on our great Constitution, we win the State of Pennsylvania!"

Facts First: This is nonsense. It's not true that representatives of Trump's campaign were not allowed to observe ballot proceedings in Pennsylvania cities; a Trump campaign lawyer has admitted in court that the campaign's observers were permitted to watch in Philadelphia. And even if, hypothetically, Trump observers had been improperly barred, nothing in the Constitution would make Trump the automatic winner of a state in which he trails by more than 65,000 votes as counting continues.

Poll watchers are allowed throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Poll watchers elsewhere

Trump also made more general claims about his observers supposedly being barred -- arguing in one tweet that the election was rigged in part because there were "NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed."

Facts First: Even leaving Pennsylvania aside, it's not true that there were no observers allowed. Trump campaign observers were permitted wherever Biden campaign observers were permitted. For example, CNN reporters saw Republican observers at sites in Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Dominion Voting Systems

Trump claimed that the election was "stolen" in part by a voting equipment and software company, Dominion Voting Systems, he suggested is biased against him and also has "bum equipment."

Facts First: There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Dominion and no evidence that any issues with Dominion's technology affected vote counts. While one Georgia county experienced delays reporting its results due to apparent problems with the company's systems, other isolated issues that were allegedly connected to Dominion were actually caused by human error.

"There were no Dominion software glitches and ballots were accurately tabulated. The results are 100% auditable," Dominion said in a statement last week, adding, "No credible reports or evidence of any software issues exist."

Again, the Trump administration said in the statement last week: "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Dominion, a Canadian company founded in 2002 with US headquarters in Denver, is the second-largest provider of voting technology in the US, according to a 2017 report from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Public Policy Initiative. You can read a longer fact check here.

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