Hillary Clinton responds to Trump tweet about Google vote manipulation
WASHINGTON – Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton responded on Monday to President Donald Trump’s claim that Google had “manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes” for her in the 2016 election by noting that the study Trump appeared to be referring to was “debunked.”
Clinton said on Twitter the study was actually “based on 21 undecided voters.” She added, “For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”
She had been referring to Trump’s post earlier Monday about alleged voter fraud in the 2016 election. Trump had said on Twitter that because of Google’s misdeeds, “Google must be sued” and added that his electoral victory should have been larger.
PolitiFact, a nonpartisan fact-checking website, rated Trump’s claim “false.” The site noted that Trump appeared to be referring to a 2017 research paper by psychologists Robert Epstein and Ronald Robertson. The paper had claimed that users’ search results were biased in favor of Clinton, which could have possibly shifted votes to her.
The paper’s methodology and findings have been questioned by other academics. who said the paper had failed to adequately explain its methodology or even define what “bias” was.
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When reached by the outlet, Epstein said Trump mischaracterized his work.
“I have never said that Google deliberately manipulated the 2016 election,” he told PolitiFact.
Epstein and Robertson had hedged their findings in their paper, too.
“We don’t know what caused these patterns of bias,” wrote Epstein and his co-author in the paper.
Trump has frequently vented about his loss in the popular vote to Clinton. Trump won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote to Clinton by several million votes, and Trump has claimed that millions of Americans voted illegally for Clinton.
The president has not provided evidence for these claims.