Viral Washington Times 'Gore Wins' Newspaper Spread by Trump Campaign Is Fake

The Trump campaign shared reportedly doctored photos of a Washington Times newspaper in its ongoing effort to shake public faith in the 2020 presidential election results. Trump campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh posted photos apparently showing a copy of the Times from November of 2000, with the headline: "President Gore." Murtaugh deleted the tweets after the Times itself revealed that the newspaper was fake.

Murtaugh posted photos showing that the "President Gore" pages were plastered all over the Trump campaign headquarters, which he said was "a reminder that the media doesn't select the President." The Times account then replied: "those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a 'President Gore' headline." Murtaugh and the Trump campaign were criticized heavily for this stunt, and for its ongoing claims about voter fraud with no evidence at all.

Some users even tracked down the real Washington Times front page following Election Day 2000, which actually read "President Bush" in the same format. It included a color photo of former President George W. Bush with First Lady Laura Bush smiling for the camera.

The Trump campaign is well within its rights to pursue recounts and other legal checks in some contested states in the 2020 presidential election. However, its public claims that the election itself was fraudulent are dangerous. So far, there is no credible evidence of voter fraud, despite the president's accusations.

Moreover, the Trump campaign would need to win an enormous amount of recounts and legal battles in order to change the results of the election as a whole. To win the presidency, a candidate needs at least 270 votes in the electoral college. According to the current projections from CBS News, Trump has just 214, while Biden has 279. The states of Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona and Alaska remain to be counted.

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This was not the first allusion to the 2000 election made in the last week. The election is now infamous for being a close call, and for having dubious results. At the time, Bush won with just 271 electoral college votes, and he lost the popular vote itself by nearly about half a percentage point. The race featured a high-stakes recount, questions of voter suppression and scrutiny on election methods themselves, such as voting machines, color coding and punch cards.

So far, President Donald Trump and his campaign have refused to concede in the 2020 presidential election, though Biden and his team have accepted the results. The inauguration will take place in January of 2021.