The pro-Trump One America News Network not only prematurely called the Alabama Senate election for Roy Moore on Tuesday — it also was caught promoting a conspiracy theory about Mississippians trying to cast illegal votes in the election.
As Dave Weigel at the Washington Post reported Thursday, OANN appears to have pre-empted the conspiracy theory cited by conservative radio host Bill Mitchell. In an election night report captured on video, a reporter for the alternative cable network claimed that they’d heard of 50 instances of attempted voter fraud, mostly with people from Mississippi.
“We have reports that a number of people have been caught trying to sneak into voting booths and vote illegally,” OANN correspondent Pearson Sharp said in the video. “[Moore’s] campaign told me that most of the people who have been turned away so far have been across the state line in Mississippi. But they say that voting fraud hasn’t been too much of a problem yet, and that only 50 people had been caught.”
Thank You for ignoring the #DeepState lies, and showing up in droves to support Judge #RoyMoore for #AlabamaSenate‼️ If early turnout holds true, The Judge will win in a “Landslide” WATCH @OANN @PearsonSharp #ALSen #AlabamaSenateElection pic.twitter.com/07sEbOHMJJ
— ProudPatriot (@MAGA_Len) December 12, 2017
By Wednesday, that theory made its way to Mitchell, who was summarily dismissed by tens of thousands of Twitter users.
I am hearing rumors that black voters from MS were encouraged to cross over into AL and vote. Anyone else hearing this? Anything to it? That might explain the 30% turnout higher than population percentage. Just reporting the rumor.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) December 13, 2017
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill’s office, who “sided with Moore’s campaign during several election controversies,” confirmed to the Post that they had not received credible complaints of voter fraud surrounding Tuesday’s election.
“There’s a lot of misdirection that comes in around Election Day,” Merrill’s spokesperson John Bennett. “We got no reports that caused us enough concern to act against them.”
ABC News had the goods on Jeffrey Epstein years ago — and killed the story
Multimillionaire predator Jeffrey Epstein died in suspicious circumstances at a Manhattan correctional facility on Aug. 10. The wealthy and powerful New York financier, a convicted sex offender, stands accused by dozens of women and girls of trafficking, rape and sexual abuse. He was an enormously influential and well-connected man who counted as friends billionaire business owners, Hollywood stars, British royals, and even top media figures like Katie Couric and Charlie Rose — with some of his associates falling under suspicion of condoning or even participating in a pedophile ring.
Child killed as quake strikes southern Philippines
A powerful earthquake hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Sunday, killing a child, injuring dozens and damaging buildings in an area still recovering from a string of deadly quakes in October.
Police said a rescue operation had been launched at a heavily damaged market building in Padada near the 6.8 magnitude quake's epicentre, which is about 90 kilometres (55 miles) south of the major city of Davao.
Patients were evacuated from hospitals as a precaution and nervous crowds massed outside shopping malls after the jolt and dozens of smaller, but strong aftershocks.
50 bodies unearthed from Mexican mass grave
The bodies of at least 50 people have been unearthed from a mass grave at a farm outside Mexico's western city of Guadalajara, local authorities said.
The grim site was discovered just over three weeks ago in Jalisco -- a state hard-hit by violence linked to organized crime.
The local prosecutor's office said Saturday 13 of the dead -- 12 men and a woman -- have been identified and the remains given to their families.
The process of identifying more of the victims and how they died will continue, it added.
A mass grave with 34 bodies was discovered in a suburb of Guadalajara on September 3, while another was found nearby in May with the remains of 30 people.