A top aide for President Donald Trump’s campaign on Sunday attempted to mock media outlets for projecting Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the election by tweeting a photo of a Washington Times headline from 2000 that read, “President Gore.”
Former Vice President Al Gore famously lost the 2000 presidential election after an incredibly tight race in Florida and, ultimately, a Supreme Court decision that shut down a recount. On election night, news outlets first called Florida for Gore, then Bush, then said the race was too close to call. Gore had called George W. Bush that night to concede but then retracted his concession an hour later.
The recount and legal battles would take weeks to unfold, with Gore eventually conceding to Bush that December.
But despite all the chaos surrounding the 2000 election, The Washington Times, a conservative daily newspaper, never published a headline that declared Gore to be president.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh on Sunday tweeted two photos: one of the purported Washington Times “President Gore” front page and the other of a room plastered with photos of the front page.
“Greeting staff at @TeamTrump HQ this morning, a reminder that the media doesn’t select the President,” Murtaugh wrote in his tweet.
The Washington Times responded: “Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a ‘President Gore’ headline.”
Murtaugh’s tweet was deleted later Sunday. He did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Trump has refused to concede the election to Biden, despite virtually all major media networks projecting Biden as the winner Saturday morning.
In almost every election cycle, including the 2016 one, media networks have projected the winner of the presidential race before all of the votes are counted and certified ― a process that can take weeks.
Trump’s allies on Sunday, including Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas, have falsely accused the media of essentially undermining the vote-counting process.
Twitter users roasted Murtaugh’s attempt to call out the media: