President Donald Trump cataloged a sequence of false conspiracy theories throughout an hourlong call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday through which he sought to overturn the state’s election outcomes, and so they had been acquainted to anybody following the far fringes of the web.
Trump floated fragments of a number of baseless conspiracy theories that had been primarily pushed by QAnon conspiracy theorists over the past two months, together with a extensively debunked concept about voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems.
The wide-ranging slew of theories, spawned on extremist boards like 4chan, had been repeatedly referred to by Trump as “rumors” which might be “trending on the internet.” He claimed they had been causes Raffensperger ought to “reexamine [the election] with people that want to find answers.”
And whereas Trump has embraced conspiracy theories for a lot of his tenure as president, Saturday’s name supplied a have a look at simply how a lot he’s now counting on among the most outlandish theories from obscure corners of the web to make his case for election fraud.
“Trump manages to distill down to a 10-minute monologue what would take the average person years to pull together,” said Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Donovan noted that many of the baseless claims floated by the president have been embraced in recent weeks by pro-Trump media.
“Everything from fakes, forgeries, and machine hacking to collusion across parties, it’s all laid out in detail with rapid fluidity,” Donovan said, noting the conspiracy theories laid out in the call “are very popular on rightwing media like Parler and Newsmax.”
Trump “pulled together all the major talking points,” Donovan said.
While Trump’s claims were wide-ranging, he focused in particular on a conspiracy theory that alleged Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman, working in the State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta, had produced thousands of fake ballots from a suitcase that somehow swung the vote to President-elect Joe Biden.
The theory was debunked weeks ago by state election officials, who called the baseless claims “ridiculous,” explaining that the full surveillance footage showed workers packing official absentee ballot carriers with valid, uncounted ballots in anticipation of going home for the evening and unpacking the same carrier when they were told to stay.
During the call, Trump suggested that a “major water main break” had made this caper possible.
“And let’s be clear. There was no water main break,” voting system manager Gabriel Sterling said in early December. He said a urinal had created a “little slow leak” in the arena.
The debunking did little to deter ardently pro-Trump websites like The Gateway Pundit,