How to Debunk a Trump Hoax
When the president-elect tweeted that he, not Hillary Clinton, had won the presidential election's popular vote, pundits and voters had a frequently asked question: Where is Trump getting this information?
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1480278643.0
"All I know is what's on the internet," Trump admitted in March. For a candidate with a penchant for lying, this was a rare moment of clarity. Trump's favorite conspiracy theories often originate on the web's far-right fringes, and his "popular vote" tweet was no exception.
"It is [an] incontrovertible fact that three million illegals voted," radio host Alex Jones announced in a November 23 episode of "The Alex Jones Show."
This claim has since been debunked.
In his segment, Jones cited a New American article titled "Vote Fraud Monitoring Group Says Three Million Noncitizens Voted in Presidential Election," which made the same claim on November 14.
In the article, New American quoted Gregg Phillips, who calls himself a "spokesman for the VoteFraud.org."
“We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens," Phillips had tweeted.
Journalist Dan Tynan was the first to call out Phillips.
@JumpVote @TrueTheVote Hi. i'm a journalist. Can I see your data, please? And your sources for these claims?— Dan Tynan (@Dan Tynan) 1479215648.0
VoteFraud.org now redirects to electionnightgatekeepers.com. But Greg Phillips’ real website continues to present the same false argument.
“Teaming with Obama's OFA, the NAACP and ACORN (yes, they are back) Clinton hopes to register 3 million illegal voters," Phillips wrote about the earliest article in his archive. Yet the Breitbart article makes no such claim.
Such is the kind of hoax we may face more of in the coming weeks and months.