'Baseless conspiracy theories': NY Times fact-check tears apart Trump’s 2020 election lies
Before the 2020 presidential election, "Real Time" host Bill Maher and other Donald Trump critics warned that if he lost, Trump would not accept the election results. Right-wing pundits accused them of having "Trump derangement syndrome," but just as Maher and others predicted, Trump never acknowledged losing the election to now-President Joe Biden.
In 2023, Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results are the focus of two of the four criminal indictments he is facing. One is being led by special counsel Jack Smith for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the other by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for the State of Georgia.
Even before he lost the election, Trump was falsely claiming that it would be stolen from him. The New York Times' Linda Qiu gives Trump's claims a robust, comprehensive fact-check in a column published on August 17.
During Trump's 2020 campaign, Qiu notes, he "laid the groundwork for an alternate reality in which he was declared the victor."
"Those lies are now central to two criminal indictments brought against him by the Justice Department and in Georgia, and formed what prosecutors have described as the bedrock of his attempts to overturn the election," Qiu explains. "In public, he made more than 800 inaccurate claims about the election from the time the polls began closing on November 3, 2020, to the end of his presidency, according to a database compiled by The Washington Post."
The Times reporter continues, "Dozens of times, he simply characterized the election as 'rigged,' 'stolen' or 'a hoax,' and flatly and falsely declared he had won — even as a mountain of evidence proved otherwise. Other falsehoods were more specific about the voting and ballot-counting process, contained unproven allegations and promoted conspiracy theories."
Qiu goes on to lay out five ways in which Trump "lied about the 2020 election."
They are: (1) "mischaracterizations of the voting and counting process," (2) " false claims about barred observers and lack of verification," (3) "baseless examples of supposed fraud," (4) "conspiracy theories about voting machines," and (5) "non-sequiturs that do not prove fraud."
Trump, Qiu recalls, attacked "mail-in ballots" as a "corrupt system" during a press conference on November 5, 2020 but offered no real evidence of that claim.
"Numerous independent studies and government reviews have found voter fraud to be extremely rare in all forms, including mail-in voting," according to Qiu. "Mr. Trump himself has voted by mail in Florida, which he has claimed is more secure because they use 'absentee ballots' rather than mail-in ballots. …. But there is no meaningful difference between 'absentee ballots' and 'vote-by-mail ballots.'"
Read Linda Qiu's full New York Times fact-check at this link (subscription required).
- Jack Smith must get inside Trump’s head to prove his guilt: report ›
- 'A tight case': Ex-White House lawyer details Jack Smith’s 'overwhelming evidence' against Trump ›
- 'Voluntarily surrender by noon on Aug 25': Fani Willis demands Trump and his allies to submit for arrest ›
- Trump flunks fact-check after Meet the Press interview goes off the rails: analysis - Alternet.org ›
- 'That’s a crime': Legal analysts gush over exposure of Trump’s 'twofer' scheme - Alternet.org ›