News and Commentary

Trump Escalates Twitter War After Fact-Check, Doubles Down On Claim That Started It All
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House April 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. On Monday President Trump tweeted that he will be the one to make the decision to re-open the states in conjunction with the Governors and input from others. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Tuesday, amid growing pressure to censor President Trump’s tweets deemed “conspiratorial,” Twitter slapped some of the president’s tweets with “get the facts” labels directing readers to a fact-check citing CNN and The Washington Post, both outlets that are overwhelmingly critical of Trump and overtly left-leaning.

After accusing Twitter of “interfering” with the 2020 presidential election and “stifling free speech” Tuesday, Trump escalated his response Wednesday morning, vowing to “strongly regulate” or “close down” social media platforms that “silence conservative voices.” In his response, Trump doubled down on the claim that started the fact-check battle.

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again.”

He then tied the situation to the issue over which Twitter first fact-checked him: mail-in ballots. “Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots,” he wrote. “Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

The posts follow Trump’s incensed response to Twitter’s fact-check move Tuesday evening.

“[Twitter] is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump tweeted. “They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”

As The Daily Wire reported, Twitter slapped a warning Tuesday under two of Trump’s tweets criticizing the increasing push to use mail-in ballots for the 2020 election.

“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” Trump tweeted Monday. “Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!”

Attached to the posts is now a hyperlinked warning reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which directs readers to a fact check that cites CNN and The Washington Post as its sources. The title and text of the fact check read:

Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud

On Tuesday, President Trump made a series of claims about potential voter fraud after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an effort to expand mail-in voting in California during the COVID-19 pandemic. These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.

What you need to know

– Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to “a Rigged Election.” However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.

– Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.” In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots.

– Five states already vote entirely by mail and all states offer some form of mail-in absentee voting, according to NBC News.

As many on the right have pointed out, the unqualified claim that “there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud” is highly problematic, particularly in something billing itself as a “fact check.”

Trump’s camp has responded by blasting Twitter for showing its partisan hand by partnering with “biased fake news media ‘fact checkers.'”

“We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters,” said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale in a statement Tuesday. “Twitter for fact-checking the president, asserting,  Partnering with the biased fake news media ‘fact checkers’ is only a smoke screen Twitter is using to try to lend their obvious political tactics some false credibility. There are many reasons the Trump campaign pulled all our advertising from Twitter months ago, and their clear political bias is one of them.”

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.