'Absolutely false': Cyber Ninjas CEO slams pro-Trump website for claiming he said election shouldn't be certified
Ultimately, the Republican-backed "audit" of ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona fizzled out with no evidence of election fraud — indeed, the final report actually found more votes for President Joe Biden than county officials themselves.
But in some right-wing corners of the internet, the report is being hailed as proof of former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" — to the point that Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, himself a Trump supporter, was forced to step in and say that the report circulating on right-wing sites purporting to be the audit results is actually a hoax.
"A doctored version of Cyber Ninjas' draft report on the 2020 election contains false information, according to CEO Doug Logan," reported Jen Fifield and Ryan Randazzo for The Arizona Republic. "Logan, who led the ballot review for Arizona Senate Republicans, says he never recommended that Maricopa County's 2020 election be decertified, which is included in an edited version of Logan's report posted on far-right media outlet The Gateway Pundit. The edited version claims that '57,734 ballots with serious issues were identified in the audit' and, therefore, 'the election should not be certified, and the reported results are not reliable.'"
Logan clarified that this passage "is not one I ever wrote, nor was it ever part of our drafts reviewed with the Senate," and suggestions on right-wing websites that this was in the original report but watered down after threats from the state government are "absolutely false."
The Gateway Pundit is a right-wing conspiracy theory website run by Jim Hoft, a blogger that liberal media watchdog group Media Matters has nicknamed "the dumbest man on the internet."
Some other Arizona Republicans have refused to accept that their own ballot review, after months of pursuing conspiracy theories, could not find fraud. State Sen. Sonny Borrelli said on Steve Bannon's show that claims the audit shows Biden won are "psychological warfare" and the election must be "nullified." Rep. Mark Finchem, who traveled to D.C. the day of the Capitol attack, claimed the report was "vindication." And state GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward has claimed a full audit of the entire state is now required.
Trump supporters are spouting 'lurid fantasies of revenge' in calls for nationwide ballot 'audits': report
Republicans are continuing to question the results of the 2020 election in Arizona, despite even the Cyber Ninjas "audit" confirming Joe Biden won the state.
But former President Donald Trump refuses to accept reality and has continued to push his "Big Lie" of election fraud that incited the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"The Arizona audit, which grew out of last year's 'Stop the Steal' protests and raised nearly $6 million from private donors, ended up finding 360 new votes for President Biden. That's not how the audit's proponents chose to see it. Since Friday, supporters of more ballot reviews in Arizona and elsewhere have insisted that there were enough suspicious ballots to demand 'decertification' in close states, audits in states where the election was not close, and the reinstallation of Donald Trump as president by any means necessary," David Weigel wrote Tuesday for The Washington Post.
At a Saturday rally in Georgia, Trump sought to settle scores with GOP Gov. Brian Kemp for not overturning that's state's election, which was also won by Biden. And Trump continued to mislead about the results of the controversial Arizona audit.
Trump claims that the Arizona "audit," which affirmed Biden's victory in the state, actually concluded that he won. Shameless lying and his fans eat it up. #TrumpRally pic.twitter.com/eNolgdCCVA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 26, 2021
"More than 10 months after the 2020 election, the argument for overturning it hasn't really changed. The wildest accusations of fraud — rigged machines, fake votes manufactured en masse — fell apart in Maricopa County, where hundreds of volunteers spent the summer looking at ballots. There was no evidence of bamboo traces, of bubbles filed in by machines, or of Republican votes being tossed because of the pens used to mark them," Weigel explained.
On Tuesday, Trump endorsed Kari Lake for governor only days after she called for Arizona to decertify the election.
Please read my statement in full: https://t.co/4jSMe0u2yc— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@Kari Lake for AZ Governor) 1632527888.0
"In Arizona, the demands for even more audits occasionally came with lurid fantasies of revenge. State Rep. Walt Blackman, who represents the same mostly-rural district as [Wendy] Rogers, said on Friday that 'we need to find these folks accountable that come up from this audit and this hearing' and, once identified, 'put them in jail, put them behind bars.' State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, the majority whip, suggested that the election might have been hacked — the report didn't show that — and suggested that if it was, the hackers should be put to death," Weigel noted.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Mark Brnovich sent Maricopa County a notice requiring "preservation of evidence" as his office investigates the Cyber Ninjas report.
Shady group of right-wing medical providers hauling in 'vast sums of money' from promoting ivermectin: report
A network of right-wing medical providers has been hauling in "vast sums of money" from its promotion of hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and other unproven treatments for the novel coronavirus, according to a new report from The Intercept.
The Intercept obtained hacked data showing that America's Frontline Doctors -- a Trump-promoted group that released a video last year featuring a doctor infamous for claiming that demons are impregnating human women -- has been "working in tandem with a small network of health care companies to sow distrust in the Covid-19 vaccine, dupe tens of thousands of people into seeking ineffective treatments for the disease, and then sell consultations and millions of dollars' worth of those medications."
In total, the data show that patients have spent at least $15 million combined for consultations and medications promoted by the group.
America's Frontline Doctors was founded by Simone Gold, an anti-vaxx doctor who has been accused by other medical professionals of selling "junk" to unsuspecting victims.
Dr. Kolina Koltai, who researches vaccine misinformation at the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public, tells The Intercept that the hacked data show that "misinformation can be really powerful to swindle people into buying products" while warning that "America's Frontline Doctors are able to scale this up massively."
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