August 21, 2019
Hillary Clinton recently said that she “lives rent-free” in President Donald Trump’s mind. Indeed, the POTUS continues to contest the fact that she won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election—by nearly 2.9 million votes.
What’s more, Trump has asked the DOJ to investigate the former Secretary of State’s emails, her server, her business deals, and her husband.
But this week he returned to his familiar “ballot box” theme, according to a report by Politico—forcing Clinton yet again to rebut his conspiracy agenda.
“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!” Trump tweeted on Monday. “This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!”
While Trump did not cite the source of his claim, according to Politico, it came minutes after a segment on Fox Business Network referred to congressional testimony in July from behavioral psychologist Robert Epstein.
In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Epstein claimed that, based on his research, “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.”
Epstein appears to have been citing a study based on a collection of tens of thousands of search engine results collected in the run-up to the 2016 election. The study analyzed a relatively small sample size: The results of 95 different voters, just 21 of whom he says were undecided. He based the results on a phenomenon he calls “Search Engine Manipulation Effect.”
Google has denied Epstein’s claims. Company Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in December that Google had investigated Epstein’s findings and found his methodology flawed
According to the Politico report, Epstein also claimed in his congressional testimony that Big Tech, if left unchecked, could shift as many as 15 million votes toward a particular candidate in the 2020 election. Trump appeared to have nudged that number higher in his tweet Monday.
But Hillary clapped back, tweeting, “The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”
Research contact: @politico