Daniel Dale can read the fake news written all over the wall.
On Wednesday morning, the CNN fact-checker laid out how he thinks President Donald Trump and his administration have planted the seeds of distrust among their supporters when it comes to mail-in ballots and how the GOP could take advantage of their base’s suspicions to steal the presidential election, if need be.
Dale called it “the dishonesty three-step.”
“1) Preemptively and falsely claim mail ballots are inherently suspect and Democratic-run places rig the count
2) Baselessly suggest Trump will win easy, big victory
3) When easy victory doesn’t happen, falsely blame it on the ballots and the count,” he wrote on Twitter.
Dale added in a follow-up tweet: “All of the dishonesty we heard in Trump’s speech and are now seeing in some pro-Trump online circles has been telegraphed for literally months by the people now doing it.”
Many Twitter users chimed in to point out that Trump’s ploy has been thinly veiled, to say the least.
Early Wednesday morning, Trump was dancing Dale’s “three-step.” Shortly before 1 a.m., the president preemptively declared a “BIG” win on Twitter and wrongly claimed that Democrats “are trying to STEAL the election.” He also falsely suggested that votes were being cast “after the Polls are closed!”
Twitter and Facebook placed warning labels on these tweets due to their falsehoods. No votes are being cast after the polls are closed.
Around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Trump made a brief appearance before supporters at the White House and deceptively declared himself the winner of the election. He also claimed that he had won several states that are still counting ballots, including Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — in which many people mailed in ballots due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. He falsely claimed that the continued counting of these ballots is “a fraud on the American public.” He then announced that he is “going to the U.S. Supreme Court” (to which he has named three justices) to stop the counting of votes.
Many media outlets, including MSNBC and NBC News, cut into Trump’s premature “victory” speech to inform viewers that he was lying.
Trump’s strategy to discredit voting by mail and Democrats has been in the works since the summer when he blocked funding for the U.S. Postal Service that was intended to help with the flood of mail-in ballots.
“The bottom line is that the president and some of his prominent supporters are trying to convince you that there is something illegitimate about legitimate votes being counted,” Dale summed up on Wednesday morning.