Trump and his allies double down on election lies after indictments for trying to undo 2020 results

by Joshua Brown
Election falsehoods

Amid federal charges and an indictment in Georgia that accuse Donald Trump of propagating falsehoods about the 2020 election in a bid to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory, there’s been no decline in the stream of fabricated election claims coming from the former president and his allies.

Just forty-eight hours subsequent to the Georgia indictment, one of Trump’s most ardent supporters took center stage at a Missouri conference to once again disseminate misleading information about the election. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a fervent proponent of the unfounded notion that the 2020 election was stolen, inaugurated an event focused on supposed election infractions with a video alleging fraud. Among the footage was a clip from November 2020 purporting to show a Georgia election worker covertly adding ballots to the count by pulling a briefcase of ballots from under a desk.

However, subsequent evidence demonstrated that the worker, Ruby Freeman, was merely performing her duties—extracting a standard government container filled with valid ballots slated for counting. Multiple recounts of the Georgia vote, including one conducted manually, validated the proper tallying of the ballots and the accuracy of the results.

Nonetheless, Freeman and her daughter, who both worked at the elections office that night, were vilified by Trump and his associates, accused of aiding Biden’s victory and subjected to threats, drawing parallels to drug dealers. The two women testified before the congressional committee investigating the January 6th events and pursued legal action against several Trump supporters, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, for defamation. The untruths surrounding them constitute a significant facet of last week’s indictment against Trump and his associates, charging them with conspiring to disseminate misinformation in an effort to manipulate the Georgia election outcome.

Undeterred by these developments, Trump’s allies have persisted in amplifying false narratives about the election. At the conference, Lindell prefaced the video by stating that it wasn’t grounded in evidence and aimed to recreate the atmosphere of December 2020, when Trump was challenging the election results and seeking avenues to retain power. The anonymously created video, rife with passionate accounts of other alleged irregularities in the election, commences with the words “this video is pure data.”

“I never forgot this video,” Lindell remarked.

The Republican base remains unreceptive to the facts despite repeated debunking of Trump’s allegations, often by members of his own inner circle. A recent poll from Big Big News revealed that 57% of Republicans disavow Biden’s legitimacy as the elected president.

The 98-page Georgia indictment catalogues numerous false claims made by Trump that were promptly refuted by fellow Republicans, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and Governor Brian Kemp. Nevertheless, Trump persists in asserting that the election was stolen from him and continues to promulgate falsehoods. Following the indictment, he initially vowed to hold a press conference in the coming week, where he intended to present a report purporting to demonstrate how the Georgia election was stolen from him. However, he later rescinded this commitment, citing his lawyers’ preference to present his argument in a legal filing.

By repetitively disseminating his falsehoods, even in the face of persistent discrediting, Trump not only keeps his devoted followers engaged but also controls the narrative, compelling others to revisit the 2020 election on his terms. During his campaign visit to the Iowa State Fair, he once more proclaimed the 2020 election was “rigged.” In anticipation of the Georgia indictment, Trump’s campaign released a statement asserting that prosecutors were infringing upon his First Amendment right to free speech and his right to contest what he labeled a rigged and stolen election, a charge he frequently directs at Democrats.

His legal team has justified his actions by asserting that he genuinely believes electoral fraud led to his defeat. The prevalence of “affective polarization,” where opposing sides view each other as adversaries, not just as political opponents, has contributed to escalated violence and political instability in other countries. This has been exemplified by incidents like the fatal shooting of an armed individual in Utah who had threatened President Biden and identified as a “MAGA Trumper.”

McIntyre, a researcher at Boston University, emphasized that Trump’s followers now perceive fellow Americans not merely as differing in opinion, but as malevolent foes deserving of punishment, possibly physical. This shift is no accident, McIntyre noted; it’s a calculated strategy for political, ideological, or financial gain, and Trump is central to this endeavor.

Termed “affective polarization,” this phenomenon has resulted in increased violence and political instability in other nations. This month, FBI agents fatally shot an armed Utah man who had threatened to kill Biden and referred to himself online as a “MAGA Trumper.”

“It’s not just that the other side is wrong, it’s that the other side is evil, and they deserve to be punished, maybe even physically harmed,” McIntyre said. “It is no longer about facts, but about trust. It’s about teams, and which side you’re on.”

Nonetheless, the ongoing political risk for Trump in perpetuating his groundless claims about the 2020 election was also underscored last week. The same survey revealing that 57% of Republicans doubt the legitimacy of Biden’s election also disclosed that 7 out of 10 Americans overall consider his election to be valid. For Trump to regain the presidency in 2024, he must convince a portion of those voters.

By reiterating his false allegations concerning the 2020 election, Trump reminds voters of how even some of his most loyal supporters opposed his endeavor to retain power. His commitment to proving that Georgia’s election was stolen was met with sharp criticism from Kemp, who stated unequivocally on what was formerly known as Twitter, “The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen.”

In light of these developments, Trump’s distortions are influencing the nation’s political landscape, amplifying polarization, and convincing a substantial segment of the American public that both the election process and the justice system are untrustworthy. David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research and co-author of “The Big Truth,” a book sounding the alarm on the perils of Trump’s election falsehoods, indicated that these lies don’t necessarily need to persuade people that the loser won, but rather to foster a belief that no one truly wins. This erosion of trust in democratic institutions, built over centuries, poses a significant risk to the nation’s stability and functioning.

[Note: This is a paraphrased and expanded version of the provided text.]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Election falsehoods

What are the key accusations against Donald Trump in relation to the 2020 election?

Donald Trump faces federal charges and an indictment in Georgia for allegedly propagating false information about the 2020 election in an attempt to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.

How have Trump and his supporters responded to the charges and indictment?

Despite the charges and indictment, Trump and his supporters have continued to disseminate election falsehoods, with no apparent decrease in their efforts.

What role did Mike Lindell play in spreading election misinformation?

Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and a vocal promoter of the belief that the 2020 election was stolen, shared misleading information at a Missouri conference just days after the Georgia indictment. He used a video that included footage falsely depicting election fraud.

Were the allegations against the Georgia election worker proven false?

Yes, subsequent evidence has shown that the allegations against the Georgia election worker, Ruby Freeman, were false. She was simply performing her job, pulling out valid ballots from a standard government container for counting.

How have Trump’s election falsehoods affected the public perception of the election?

Trump’s persistent promotion of false claims has led to a significant portion of his supporters and Republicans rejecting the legitimacy of President Biden’s election, as revealed by a recent poll.

What impact has Trump’s repetition of these claims had on the nation’s political landscape?

By continuously propagating false information, Trump has not only kept his supporters engaged but has also perpetuated polarization and sown distrust in democratic institutions.

Has there been any legal or factual support for Trump’s claims?

No, multiple legal challenges, audits, recounts, and investigations have consistently debunked Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud, even when some were overseen by fellow Republicans.

What potential risks does the perpetuation of these falsehoods pose to the nation?

The continued spread of these falsehoods risks undermining trust in democratic institutions built over centuries, fostering division, and destabilizing the political system.

How are Trump’s claims contributing to increased polarization?

Trump’s claims portray fellow Americans as enemies and promote a viewpoint where opposing sides are seen as evil. This affective polarization has historically led to violence and political instability.

Could Trump’s repetition of these falsehoods impact his future political ambitions?

Yes, the same poll that showed a substantial portion of Republicans doubting Biden’s legitimacy also demonstrated that a majority of Americans overall consider his election valid. Trump will need to sway some of those voters to succeed in a future presidential bid.

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PatriotGirl45 August 21, 2023 - 7:23 am

omg i saw that vid lindell showed! so much confusion, i was lik “whaaaat?” but truth? lol, who cares bout truth these days?

TrueBeliever2023 August 21, 2023 - 8:31 am

don’t care bout no poll! biden ain’t no legit prez, i say it loud. trump got robbed, and all them recounts, what a waste!

HopefulSoul August 21, 2023 - 8:46 am

biden’s the prez, but so many say “nah.” truth’s gettin’ buried, and that’s sad. ain’t this what our country stands for, honesty?

FreedomEagle88 August 21, 2023 - 9:25 am

lol, trump just don’t quit, huh? he’s like, “nah, georgia ain’t lost, i refuse to believe!” gotta hand it to him, dude’s determined.

ChaosBrewin August 21, 2023 - 9:55 am

dang, this mess is makin’ folks more mad at each other. sides ain’t just sides no more, they’s enemies. what happened to facts? it’s like “who needs ’em?”

BlueSkiesAhead August 21, 2023 - 10:38 am

freeman, bless her heart, just doin’ her job pullin’ out them ballots. now it’s all twisted, like a bad movie plot. so much drama, all them accusations.

InTheKnow22 August 21, 2023 - 8:29 pm

facts, lies, who can tell anymore? it’s like we’re in a circus. trump’s ringleadin’, got his own show goin’. democracy’s takin’ hits tho, that’s for sure.

CuriousCat August 21, 2023 - 8:37 pm

those vids, man! they’re like a rollercoaster, up and down, twists and turns. but why’s trump so stuck on this? ain’t he got better things to do?

JohnDoe92 August 22, 2023 - 4:05 am

trump jus can’t stop with them lies huh? even after all them charges and stuff. it’s like he’s stuck on repeat or somethin’. elections mess is makin’ peeps not trust nothin’ no more.

RedWhiteBlueFan August 22, 2023 - 6:25 am

these lies ain’t new, but they’re stickin’. sides gettin’ more divided, and it’s gettin’ nasty. we used to be better than this.


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