In recent days, a new claim purporting to provide evidence Donald Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 election has made the rounds on right-wing corners of social media — which ultimately was picked up by a conservative TV network, and by a sitting member of Congress.
The claim states that the U.S. military seized a server in Frankfurt, Germany owned by Scytl, a Spanish election software company, and that this server shows the "real" projected outcome of the presidential election prior to the data being tampered with. It is accompanied by an electoral map — clearly drawn using the online free tool at 270towin.com — that shows Trump carrying a landslide 410 electoral votes, including in such unlikely states as California, Hawaii, and Virginia.
OAN just reported that the data the military recovered off of the Scytl server shows that POTUS won by a LANSLIDE!!… https://t.co/jag73amgO8— TRUMP IS STILL OUR PRESIDENT ♥️AngelWarrior4Trump (@TRUMP IS STILL OUR PRESIDENT ♥️AngelWarrior4Trump) 1605617370.0
Unfortunately for Trump supporters, the entire thing is a flimsy hoax — as The New York Times revealed on Wednesday.
"Both Scytl and the Army have refuted the claim. An Army spokesperson told The Associated Press that there had been no raid on Scytl’s offices and no servers seized. In a fact-check posted to its website, Scytl said it did not 'tabulate, tally or count votes' in U.S. elections or have an office in Frankfurt," reported Kevin Roose. "Jonathan Brill, the president and general manager of Scytl’s U.S. division, said in an interview on Tuesday that the rumor that the company’s software had been used to tamper with vote tallies was 'totally false, every single bit of it.'"
Despite the red flags, the hoax gained traction and spread to other sources.
"The story was ... picked up by a little-known Indian news website, GreatGameIndia, which gained notoriety this year for spreading false claims about the origin of the coronavirus pandemic," said the report. "It was then repeated by Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, during interviews with Newsmax, the conservative TV network, and Charlie Kirk, the right-wing activist, and has since been shared by other prominent conservatives hoping to cast doubt on the election outcome."