Trump campaign caught sharing fake newspaper cover on election result
(AFP via Getty Images)
In an attempt to undermine media projections of Joe Biden as the newly elected president, a top aide to President Donald Trump tweeted a doctoral headline in the Washington Times.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh shared an image from the Conservative publication headlined "President Gore," a reference to former Vice President Al Gore's race against George W. Bush in 2000.
The Democratic presidential candidate, Mr Gore, won the referendum like his 2016 counterpart Hillary Clinton, but ultimately lost the election after a five-week legal battle with Mr Bush over 25 votes in Florida.
The political crisis ended at the Supreme Court, where judges ruled that the Florida Supreme Court's decision to have ballot recounts nationwide is unconstitutional. Mr. Gore conceded the race the next day and later chaired a joint congressional session at which Mr. Bush was confirmed as the winner.
Despite the uncertainty at the time, the Washington Times never published a headline in 2000 declaring Mr. Gore the winner.
However, Mr Murtaugh tweeted two pictures: one, the alleged article on the front page, and the other, a room with the treated front page on the wall. He shared it, writing, "Greeting the staff at @ TeamTrump headquarters this morning, a reminder that the media will not select the president."
A closer look at the paper reveals that the text of the article itself is about Mr Bush winning the presidency, which apparently shows that the heading has been changed. The Washington Times itself replied, “These photos have been treated. The Washington Times never published a "President Gore" headline. "
The paper also said it emailed Mr. Murtaugh of this.
Mr. Murtaugh has since deleted the tweet. He later told Axios that he did not know that the newspaper's front page was being made and that he immediately deleted his tweet when he found out that it was.
Mr Murtaugh's tweet also reflected the views of Mr Trump himself, who not only refused to give the election to Mr Biden but also attacked mainstream media networks in an attempt to project a winner. The Associated Press previously found it had been reliably polling election results since 1848.
"Since when has the Lamestream media been calling who our next president will be? We've all learned a lot in the past two weeks!" Mr Trump had tweeted on Sunday.
The fake tweet on Mr Murtaugh's front page has since been mocked on social media.
"Team Trump, who supports the election results misinformation campaign for literally false news, is * Chef's Kiss *, *" wrote a Twitter user.
American historian Kevin M Kruse wrote, “It's weird that you use literal 'false news' to deceive the people who work for you, but I suppose if they work for you they might be stupid enough to fall for it. ”
CNN video producer Donald Judd glanced at the campaign team and said, "In addition to a seemingly fake Washington Times front page, the Trump campaign appears to have its office kitchen papered with tweets from the president."
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