President Donald Trump has a problem. His disinformation campaign intended to cast doubt on the 2020 election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden is being debunked, in part, by the very government he runs.
On Thursday evening, a statement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, along other officials explained that there is no reason to believe the election's vote count has been altered or tampered with.
"When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary," it said. "This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised." [emphasis original]
This stood in contrast to Trump's own efforts to insist the election was rigged against him, a claim that has been furthered by his allies, including Rudy Giuliani and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Other Republicans have continued to express doubt about the results of the presidential election, despite no serious evidence of malfeasance or error in the conclusion that Biden has won.
Earlier in the day, Trump shared a bogus claim alleging that millions of votes in the election were deleted, which was promptly flagged by Twitter:
It's not clear if the statement from CISA was a direct response to Trump's sharing of the conspiracy itself or was simply meant to address the claims that had been floating around before they were elevated by the president. But either way, it stood as a clear refutation of the president's lies.
"While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too," the statement said. "When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections."
It also noted: "The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."
PolitiFact, too, rated the president's claim as a "Pants on Fire."
"The president's tweet traces back to an unsubstantiated claim on a pro-Trump website that cited Edison Research," the site explained. "But Edison Research told us they have found no evidence of voter fraud. Dominion, state election officials and federal officials say there's no evidence that millions of votes were miscounted. Trump's claim is inaccurate and ridiculous."