Aug 20, 2019

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

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."

Go deeper: Twitter bans advertising from "state-controlled news media entities"

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

5 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.