No one — apart from perhaps ever-gullible Maine Senator Susan Collins — expected Donald Trump to bow gracefully. A peaceful transition to his successor, Joe Biden, was never in the cards, and he’s spent the last near-two months making baseless accusations of voter fraud, whipping up his gullible base, and generally making a fool of himself. (Or getting made a fool of by his supposed allies.) The outgoing president has regularly clung to ridiculous conspiracy theories, and late Tuesday night was no exception.
His latest easily debunked nonsense involved Georgia, as it often does these days, namely Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, one of many officials who have refused to overturn the state’s election in his favor. In a tweet that, as of this writing, remains live and unflagged, Trump went after both Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp, calling them “a complete disaster” (singular) who “don’t have a clue, or worse.”
He then singled out Raffensperger, hitting him with a bizarre accusation: “Now it turns out that Brad R’s brother works for China, and they definitely don’t want ‘Trump’. So disgusting!” (The quotation marks around his own name were the cherry on top.)
The claim was so outrageous that even far-right site Gateway Pundit removed an article parroting it. Meanwhile, fact-checkers went to work on it, and it took more than one to sort this one out. First Georgia reporter Stephen Fowler deduced that Trump was likely referring to a man whose last name is Raffensperger, and who is CTO for a subsidiary of the conglomerate Huawei. Only problem: That person is not Brad Raffensperger’s brother.
Tireless CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale swooped in next. Initially he claimed that the secretary of state didn’t even have a brother, making the lie even more Trumpian. Dale later added a correction, saying he actually does have a brother (plus a few sisters), but he does not work for China.
There remains no basis for Trump’s claim a sibling works for China – it’s some dude by the same last name. But I’m sorry for spreading the inaccurate statement that he doesn’t have a brother at all. A good reminder about the need to double-check even things that seem verified.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 30, 2020
In any case, Trump only has a few more weeks in office — and, from the sounds of it, he may only have a few more weeks with a Twitter account.
(Via The Daily Beast)