UPDATE, 3:10 PM: Once again Twitter has publicly chastised Donald Trump for spreading information that is “disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” as the incumbent declares he was won key states in the Presidential election.
In a series of tweets today, the former Celebrity Apprentice host anointed himself the victor in still undecided Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina and alleged that there was “a large number of secretly dumped ballots” in the trio of states.
For the fifth time in the last 24 hours, the Jack Dorsey-run social media platform essentially said “whoa there POTUS.”
…..there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
The incumbent’s tweets came after his son Eric, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and his reelection campaign’s feed all put out posts of Trump winning the Keystone State. Trump’s tweets also followed his campaign filing a motion with the Supreme Court on Wednesday to halt the vote counting in the Pennsylvania. The motion offers no evidence of any significant tampering have occurred in the vote counting in the state – a vote counting that can actually be watched online in real time.
Often seen as indulgent of Trump, Facebook too put caveats on his posts on the Mark Zuckerberg co-founded platform. As Biden inches towards the victory number of 270 electoral votes, expect more and more outlandish tweets from a desperate Trump, and more labeling by Twitter and others.
PREVIOUSLY, 7:57 AM: Donald Trump started his post-Election Day morning with another attack on vote counting, with a series of tweets that included false claims of “surprise ballot dumps.”
Twitter slapped a label on one of the tweets. “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” Twitter said in its message. It also restricted users from sharing the tweet.
Trump’s tweet read, “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”
Trump also cast doubt on the process of counting remaining ballots in an early morning speech from the East Room of the White House. But that drew a rebuke not just from network news anchors and pundits, but some of his supporters, including Chris Christie, an analyst for ABC News.
That’s because it’s not abnormal for states to have large numbers of ballots uncounted. Because so many voted by mail this year over concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s taking even longer in some cases.
When Trump spoke at the White House early on Wednesday, he held a slim lead in Wisconsin and Michigan, two key swing states. But Biden now has a narrow lead in those states as the counting continues.
Trump also tweeted, “How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?” That tweet also earned a Twitter label.
Another closely watched state on Wednesday is Pennsylvania, where Trump holds a sizable lead. But a big batch of mail-in ballots have yet to be reported from key Biden areas, including Philadelphia. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told reporters that “there are millions of ballots still to be counted.” She promised updates throughout the day.
Biden tweeted on Wednesday, “We won’t rest until everyone’s vote is counted.” His campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, said in a video presentation that they expect to win Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which would be enough for Biden the surpass 270 electoral votes.
“We are winning the election,” said Bob Bauer, attorney for the Biden campaign. “We’ve won the election. And we’re going to defend that election.”
Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ 2016 nominee, wrote, “We’ll know the election results when every ballot is counted. That’s how democracy works.”
We'll know the election results when every ballot is counted. That's how democracy works.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 4, 2020
A Twitter spokesperson said, “As votes are still being counted across the country, our teams continue to take enforcement action on Tweets that prematurely declare victory or contain misleading information about the election broadly. This is in line with our Civic Integrity Policy and our recent guidance on labeling election results.”
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