Democrats complain about “far-right disinformation campaigns,” and advocate for social media giants to censor and fact-check any claim they disagree with, but fail to recognize their own role in actively spreading falsehoods and misinformation.
Despite Twitter and Facebook’s reported devotion to fact-checking and limiting the spread of misinformation, including censoring the New York Post’s story revealing Joe Biden’s knowledge of his son’s foreign business dealings, a number of other misinformation campaigns recently peddled by Democrats have gone unchecked.
15 days from the election and the uptick in Twitter misinformation over the last 24 hours is shocking
✅ Aaron Rupar created a news cycle by lying about a Trump quote
✅ Michigan Dems made a dishonest video about John James go viral
✅ Iowa Dems spread fake email about Joni pic.twitter.com/tUzSXKbauF
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) October 20, 2020
Vox’s Aaron Rupar contributed to the Democrats’ spread of disinformation in a now-deleted tweet alleging that Trump engaged in a quid pro quo with ExxonMobil, offering them permits in exchange for campaign money.
“I call the head of Exxon. I’ll use a company. ‘How are you doing? How’s energy coming? When are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh? But I call the head of Exxon I say, ‘You know, I’d love you to send me $25 million for the campaign.’ -Trump #QuidProQuo,” the tweet read.
In reality, Trump was speaking in the hypothetical on Monday afternoon at a rally in Arizona, offering the crowd with an example of how he could raise more campaign donations than his opponent Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden if he wanted to.
Rupar posted an explanation for his tweet, claiming that he thought that people would catch on to the hypothetical, but his original and false allegations against the president, however, was quickly spread by elected Democrats and left-leaning Twitter users.
Wild/totally unsurprising how far this nonsense has spread based on a bad initial tweet. pic.twitter.com/IHqbiCNl9j
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 20, 2020
So @exxonmobil & friends, care to tell us the end of this story?
Did you coordinate the $25 million? https://t.co/0YI5VhWYzS
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 19, 2020
Deleted this because the quote reads too much like something Trump actually said to Exxon when he was talking about a hypothetical. I thought the “I’ll use a company” line nodded to that context, but it’s apparent folks are interpreting in a more literal way. That’s on me. pic.twitter.com/75AVU5veQW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 20, 2020
Quid Pro Quo is trending on Twitter because Aaron used this as the caption of his tweet instead of the part in this clip where Trump said he doesn't want to do this sort of thing, and everyone retweeting it isn't bothering to listen to the whole thing. https://t.co/uyPyuZcqU4
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) October 19, 2020
Many people were so confused by the comments on social media that ExxonMobil had to clarify that the reported conversation never actually happened.
We are aware of the President’s statement regarding a hypothetical call with our CEO…and just so we’re all clear, it never happened.
— ExxonMobil (@exxonmobil) October 19, 2020
Another out of context clip spread misinformation when Elena Kuhn, communications for Michigan Democrats, posted a clipped video of GOP Senate candidate John James supposedly “fumbling” over his answer to a question about pre-existing conditions protections outside of Obamacare.
WATCH: John James completely fumbles on @Local4News when pressed on how he'd protect Michiganders with pre-existing conditions. (Hint: it's because he has absolutely no plan to do so) #MISen pic.twitter.com/OA48Pvi4iG
— Elena Kuhn (@elenakuhn) October 18, 2020
The misleading post was shared over a thousand times by Democrat blue checkmarks and pundits, including James’s opponent.
— Senate Democrats (@dscc) October 19, 2020
Watch this. This guy has NO idea how he’s going to replace Obamacare and protect people with pre-existing conditions. None of them do. Re-elect Senator Gary Peters and save your healthcare. https://t.co/FIlc61aSNq
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) October 19, 2020
If you have no plans to protect people with pre-existing conditions, you have no business representing Michiganders.
— Gary Peters (@GaryPeters) October 18, 2020
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 18, 2020
The full answer by James, however, is minutes long and details his plan to provide “a market-based, patient-centered approach” by “increasing competition, choice, and quality of care” through tax reform, expanding risk pools, and allowing associations.
Let’s make the Affordable Care Act affordable. By passing a legislative requirement to protect people with pre-existing conditions while expanding risk pools, allowing biz association plans and reforming the tort & regulatory hurdles that raise cost, we can get this done for MI. pic.twitter.com/T8v58tKo7l
— John James (@JohnJamesMI) October 18, 2020
The left manipulated a video of @JohnJamesMI and then launched a coordinated attack, saying he wouldn't “do the work” if elected. It’s unacceptable. Here is what he actually said. Donate to support his
campaign here: https://t.co/5wJRdjjwDA pic.twitter.com/8wOjxcODy8
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) October 19, 2020
In yet another example of misinformation, Democrats shared a doctored email suggesting that the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation retracted their endorsement of Sen. Joni Ernst who is up for reelection.
.@rachelgirwin is the comms director for Schumer’s Super PAC. Here she is sharing a doctored email suggesting Joni lost the Iowa Farm Bureau endorsement.
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) October 18, 2020
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation released a statement on Sunday clarifying that the email was false, but many had already shared the original post.
“Recently, a fake email has been circulating through social media that Senator Ernst no longer has the support of Iowa Farm Bureau or our members. This email is fake, and any news reports that speak to its validity are false,” the statement read. “… the Iowa Farm Bureau was proud to designate her as a Friend of Agriculture. She continues to have our full support.”
And in an ironic twist of a disinformation campaign, mainstream media and Democrats have grabbed onto false accusations made by House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, who claimed the recently released Biden emails are linked to Russian election interference.
On Monday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe debunked Schiff’s claims, explicitly stating there is no information or intelligence suggesting foreign interference is behind the New York Post’s Biden stories.
“Let me be clear,” Ratcliffe said on Fox Business. “The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that.”
Worth noting that Schiff and Ratcliffe were at one point debating Russia and Ukraine on opposite sides of the HPSCI dais, before Ratcliffe was tapped to be DNI earlier this year
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) October 19, 2020
Adam Schiff has been stating definitively that Russia is behind the NY Post story, even though he has no idea whether that's true.
That's because @AdamSchiff is an absolute pathological liar, abusing his position as Intelligence Committee Chair to scream RUSSIA & lie constantly.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 20, 2020
More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”https://t.co/T58QhdXEJd
— POLITICO (@politico) October 20, 2020
“This effort by Rudy Giuliani and the New York Post and Steve Bannon to cook up supposed dirt on Joe Biden, looks like a classic Russian playbook disinformation campaign,” fmr. CIA Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash says. “This is collusion in plain sight.”https://t.co/wcV9LfE1wq
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 20, 2020
Here's CNN's reporting putting Ratcliffe's comments in proper context, that US authorities are investigating the emails that purport to detail Hunter's business dealings are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort targeting Biden's campaignhttps://t.co/KUpzGCdto3
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) October 19, 2020