Another of President Donald Trump's tweets was flagged late on Sunday night for falsely claiming that he won the 2020 presidential election. Trump continues to incorrectly claim that there was widespread voter fraud and election tampering. He posted one of his most blunt lies just before midnight on Sunday, saying: "I WON THE ELECTION!"
Trump's all-caps tweet was quickly flagged by the Twitter Safety team, and appended with the notice: "Official sources called this election differently." The post was not removed, as Twitter executives have said they do not believe it is in Americans' best interest to remove the president's tweets. Many Twitter users made a joke out of the now-familiar warning under Trump's tweet, applying it to their own false statements. Others had more serious criticisms.
I WON THE ELECTION!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
"I WON WIMBLEDON!" one Twitter user responded, while another added: "I won The Amazing Race! Twice!" Some stars even got in on the fun, revising the history of their own careers. That included actor Jewel Staite, who wrote: "THERE WERE TEN SEASONS OF FIREFLY."
While Trump's claims about the election are demonstrably false, many pundits and political analysts are getting more and more concerned about how his continued lies will impact faith in American democracy in the long term. On Sunday night, CNN reporter Daniel Dale tweeted: "Trump is tweeting absolutely bonkers lies about the election. it is bad," and journalist Brooke Binkowski added: "It's super bad and getting worse." Binkowski, who specializes in online disinformation, has been publicly calling on Twitter to ban the president from the website for weeks now.
Trump is within his rights to call for recounts in the 2020 presidential election, and even to file lawsuits against city and state governments, in some cases. However, his public rhetoric is untruthful and incendiary, misrepresenting the facts of the election to millions of people who trust his word because of the status of his office. So far, the Trump campaign has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud or election tampering, and at least three law firms have now dropped the election lawsuits that the campaign hired them for.
Meanwhile, Trump's refusal to concede is beginning to show real-world impacts on the function of the U.S. government itself — particularly its response to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by Politico, the Trump administration is still not cooperating with the Biden transition team in any way, leaving some federal agencies in a limbo state where they cannot effectively respond to the surge in new COVID-19 cases. The effect of this delay could have long-lasting impacts on how the U.S. comes through this crisis.