- Minutes after the pro-Trump, right-wing outlet One America News Network (OAN) made a baseless claim about the election, President Donald Trump tweeted the allegation.
- Trump's tweet alleged, based only on OAN's baseless segment, that an election-software company had switched more than one million ballots from Trump to Biden.
- Trump has frequently used OAN, which has been widely criticized for sharing misinformation in the past, as a source of news.
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President Donald Trump shared a false election conspiracy theory Thursday morning barely thirty minutes after it was discussed by One America News Network (OAN), a right-wing, pro-Trump propaganda outlet that has frequently been criticized for sharing misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Trump shared a baseless conspiracy theory about Dominion Voting Systems, an election-software company that was used by battleground states, including Michigan and Georgia, in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump claimed that Dominion "DELETED" more than one million Trump votes across the US by switching votes from Trump to Biden in Pennsylvania and other states. Twitter added a label to Trump's tweet indicating that the claim he shared had been disputed. The claim is baseless and was made without evidence.
The OAN segment on Dominion aired 11:06 am, just before Trump's tweet, according to Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, a left-leaning nonprofit that tracks right-wing media and extremism. Gertz pointed out in a tweet the extremely close timing of the segment compared with Trump's tweet.
OAN is known for peddling conspiracy theories, and has previously broadcast segments that echo QAnon conspiracy theorists. In the past, Trump has frequently relied on them for news. Recently, as he's attempted to dispute his loss in the 2020 presidential election, OAN has become one of his last staunch media defenders.
OAN, which airs on YouTube and other digital platforms, aired a segment the morning after Election Day falsely claiming that Trump was the winner. YouTube told Insider that the video did not violate the platform's guidelines. The Atlantic called OAN Trump's "favorite cable-news network" in May.
In the days leading up to Trump's tweet, conspiracy theories about Dominion were already going viral on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the Associated Press reported. Many of the theories centered on the false notion that powerful Democrats had ties to the company, which is false, according to the AP.
The theories circulated after there were voting irregularities in Michigan and Georgia. In Michigan, election officials found mistakes in two counties that were due to human error, rather than software, and were quickly rectified, The New York Times reported, citing the Michigan Department of State. In three Georgia counties with issues, only one county used Dominion software, where results were delayed, but not inaccurate, CNN reported.
Edward Perez, an election-technology expert at the OSET Institute, a voting infrastructure nonprofit, told The Times that he was "not aware of any evidence of specific things or defects in Dominion software that would lead one to believe that votes had been recorded or counted incorrectly."
"Many of the claims being asserted about Dominion and questionable voting technology is misinformation at best and, in many cases, they're outright disinformation," Perez told The Times.
Dominion did not immediately to a request for comment.
Trump has refused to acknowledge Biden's win and continues to make false accusations of voter fraud to support his efforts. Trump and members of his inner circle, including his children and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have been tweeting false allegations in the wake of the election.
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