- President Donald Trump issued a statement through his campaign’s Twitter account on Thursday making claims without evidence that “illegal and late votes” will lead to election fraud, and Twitter has not added a label to it.
- In a statement to Business Insider, a Twitter spokesperson said the tweet “is not currently a violation of the Twitter Rules and will not be labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy.”
- The president has long peddled unfounded claims that suggest the nation’s election process is fraudulent and has continued to do so since Tuesday as votes began being tallied.
- Prior to Election Day, Twitter said it would crack down on the spread of election-related misinformation.
- Twitter labeled five of the president’s tweets as “disputed” and “misleading” on Wednesday as Trump questioned without evidence the election results in Michigan and other battleground states.
President Donald Trump issued a statement through his campaign’s official Twitter account Thursday that made unfounded claims of “illegal and late votes” impacting the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.
The tweet reads: “President @realDonaldTrump: ‘IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!”
The president is referring to what he, his campaign, and many GOP surrogates falsely claim to be various instances of fraudulent votes. There has been no evidence to back the claims of “late votes,” nor has there been any other evidence of otherwise illegal ballots. Local officials have also not announced that there have been any such issues.
In a statement to Business Insider, a Twitter spokesperson said the tweet “is not currently a violation of the Twitter Rules and will not be labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy.”
International elections observers have slammed President Trump’s attacks on the electoral process. “Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions,” the observers said in a new report.
Each state has its own process around how to count votes, and mail-in ballots that arrive late are not illegal. Many states, including Pennsylvania, accept ballots received after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by November 3. Some absentee ballots that continue to arrive are from overseas and from military service members.
Read more: Trump campaign says all ‘legally cast ballots’ will show a Trump victory
Trump has long been known for using Twitter as his de facto mouthpiece, airing his grievances with the media, politicians, and other critics on the public platform. The president’s choice to use his campaign’s account to issue this statement rather than his own is unusual.
It also comes as Twitter, and other social media platforms, strive to control the spread of misinformation related to the election as votes in various states continue to be counted and as a presidential winner remains unclear.
Part of Twitter’s initiative was to add labels to posts that include misleading information to warn users before they viewed it. Twitter indeed slapped a handful of such labels on five of Trumps’ tweets on Wednesday, saying they included “disputed” or “misleading” content, including one tweet that questioned why Biden gained a lead in “key States” after mail-in ballots were counted. A candidate’s lead can fluctuate as officials tally each state’s votes, and an increase in mail-in ballots have contributed to longer count times as well.
In Nevada, a judge ordered 30 voting locations in the area surrounding Las Vegas to stay open for an extra hour on Tuesday after the Trump campaign cited reports that some sites didn’t open on time.
Read more: Recounts, debt, and litigation: Here’s why Donald Trump keeps asking for your money even while votes are still being counted
The Trump campaign has already called for a recount in Wisconsin and a judge in Georgia has thrown out a lawsuit filed by the campaign that alleged an out-of-state poll watcher said they saw a stack of late ballots being added to the count. Another lawsuit was filed by the Trump campaign in Michigan over whether Republican operatives were able to view the handling of absentee ballots, a case that a judge in the state also threw out.
Trump and his supporters called for vote counting to be stopped in both states, as well as in Pennsylvania. However, Trump supporters congregated in Phoenix on Thursday chanting for officials to “count the votes.” The protesters also decried Fox News after the network projected Biden to have won the electoral vote in the state of Arizona.
Twitter and Facebook labeled Trump’s posts on Wednesday in which he prematurely declared victory in the 2020 presidential election before all votes could be counted. The companies said they would clamp down on claims of early victories before Election Day came around.
As social media firms like Facebook and Twitter have cracked down on misinformation, they have also drawn criticism from conservatives who say the platforms discriminate against right-leaning content, a theory that is backed up by little evidence.