Aug 19, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Clinton gives her take on Trump's Google voter conspiracy theory

Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump listen during the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Trump during a 2016 election town hall debate in St Louis, Missouri. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quickly fired back Monday, after President Trump tweeted about a refuted election theory arguing that Google had manipulated millions of votes in her favor in the 2016 presidential election.

Between the lines: Trump did not directly cite his source for the claim. But the tweet came within minutes of a Fox Business Network segment referring to congressional testimony by Robert Epstein, a behavioral psychologist, who said his research showed "biased search results generated by Google’s search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton," Politico notes.

  • It appears to be in reference to this study by Epstein, in which only 21 voters were undecided — a notably tiny sample size. Google denies the claims, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Reality check: CNN's Daniel Dale spoke to the study's author, who said Trump was wrong in claiming Google specifically "manipulated" votes or search results. He noted that the maximum figure for votes potentially affected by bias was 10.4 million, not 16 million as Trump had cited.

  • Epstein told the fact-chekcing site PolitiFact, "I have never said that Google deliberately manipulated the 2016 election."

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