President Donald Trump has more than quintupled down on his baseless claims of shady voting to explain why he lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 — and this time he blamed Google.
Trump has repeatedly insisted — with no evidence — that 3 million (maybe as many as 5 million) votes were illegally cast by noncitizens. Three million happens to be close to Clinton’s popular vote margin over Trump. But now Trump is insisting that up to 16 million votes were manipulated by Google to Clinton’s benefit.
“My victory was even bigger than thought!” he gushed on Twitter.
The claim comes just days after Ellen Weintraub, the chair of the Federal Election Commission, wrote a letter to the president telling him to shut up about his vote-fraud claims or come up with evidence that there’s any truth to them. Trump established an investigative panel on voter fraud to substantiate his claims in 2017, but it came up with nothing and disbanded.
Weintraub warned that Trump’s unsubstantiated claims undermine faith in the election system. She said she was using words a “former casino operator” could understand: “You need to lay your cards on the table — or fold.”
Instead of folding, Trump raised.
Trump’s new claim was apparently sparked by a Fox Business report Monday about psychologist Robert Epstein’s research. He recently testified before senators that his research has shown that Google’s search algorithms may have “impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Clinton.” His study sample, however, involved just 95 voters, 21 of whom considered themselves undecided.
Google denied that its search algorithms are politically biased and has said that Epstein’s study methodology was fatally flawed.
“This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016,” Google said in a statement to CNBC. “As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
Clinton made much of the 21 undecided voters in Epstein’s research in a Twitter clapback.