Donald Trump Just Claimed That Google Switched Millions of Votes From Him to Hillary in 2016

Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images // Rune Hellestad - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

President Donald Trump infamously won the electoral college vote in the 2016 presidential election, securing his ascent to the White House in an upset victory against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Apparently occupying the Oval Office wasn't enough of a victory, because 941 days into his presidency, he's claiming that Google somehow manipulated "2.6 million to 16 million votes" in Clinton's favor, implying that he was robbed of the popular vote, which he lost by 2.8 million votes—the greatest margin in American history for a winner of the electoral college.

Trump cited the Twitter handle of right wing conspiracy site Judicial Watch to back up the claims, but people were confused where he was getting this information.

Hillary Clinton, however, seemed to know exactly what he was referring to.

The claim appears to originate from Dr. Robert Epstein, a psychologist and former Clinton supporter, who claimed that Google manipulated search suggestions—or "autocomplete" search results—to favor Clinton over Trump. He claims this influenced a minimum of 2.6 million votes.

The study was based on 95 responses, only 21 of whom were undecided on a candidate.

Google said of Epstein's claim in 2017:

“We have never re-ranked search results on any topic (including elections) to manipulate political sentiment. Moreover, we do not make any ranking tweaks that are specific to elections or political candidates, period. We always strive to provide our users with the most accurate, relevant answers to their queries.”

The search suggestions Epstein references are, according to Google, determined by the users. A more popular search topic will travel up the ranks due to the volume it's searched.

The favorable search suggestions aren't the reason for Clinton's popular vote win, but—like the win itself—a reflection of her popularity.

The now-defunct YouTube channel SourceFed contested this claim, pointing out that unfavorable search predictions for Clinton were more common among Google's competitors, Yahoo! and Bing. However, search engine users 45 years or older are more likely to prefer Yahoo! or Bing over Google. This same demographic favored Trump in 2016, strengthening the claim that these results are user-determined rather than determined by the search engine.

The Washington Post provided further skepticism of Trump's claims and Epstein himself disputed Trump's take in correspondence with CNN fact checker Daniel Dale.

People couldn't stop cheering at Clinton's savage clapback.

Trump has frequently claimed without evidence that he was robbed of the popular vote. Though he blames Google now, he's blamed "millions of people who voted illegally" in the past.

Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub recently called Trump out after he once again made claims at a New Hampshire rally that massive voter fraud handed the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

"The American people count on me, as the Chair of their Federal Election Committee to protect the integrity of our elections," Weintraub wrote. "So I ask you, once again, to provide any evidence you may have to the American people and the appropriate law-enforcement authorities to substantiate your claims."

Trump tweeted a conspiracy theory instead.


Listen to the first episode of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!', where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

Be sure to subscribe here and never miss an episode.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Daily Front Row // Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Former Republican Congressman and current host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough, left the Republican party in July of 2017—around six months after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Since then, he's used his show to call out the President's (16,000+ and counting) lies—and Tuesday night was no different.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After weeks of enduring the impeachment trial against him in the Senate, President Donald Trump was likely grateful to be in a venue filled with people willing to praise him.

The President spoke at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, but at multiple points during the speech, his words got ahead of his thoughts.

At one point, Fox News—which was covering the event—decided to cut away, amid stifled laughter from the hosts.

Keep reading...
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The United States, unlike North Korea and other nations President Donald Trump admires, does not have an official state media channel where the federal government can push propaganda.

But since his 2016 campaign, Trump has spoken as though he does have an official state media in Fox News.

Keep reading...
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Retired General John Kelly served as President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff until late 2018, and now he's siding against Trump on a crucial point.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton's allegations in his upcoming memoir have rocked the impeachment trial in the Senate. Bolton claims Trump sought to withhold aid from Ukraine until it acquiesced to performing politically beneficial investigations for Trump's reelection bid.

Keep reading...

As calls continue to grow for former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify before the Senate in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is feeling left out.

Demands for Bolton's testimony skyrocketed among the public after allegations in his upcoming memoir that Trump sought to withhold Ukrainian aid as late as September to secure foreign investigations into Trump's political rivals.

Keep reading...
Fox News

Explosive allegations from an upcoming memoir by former National Security Advisor John Bolton are strengthening the case for additional witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Bolton's manuscript, the President sought as recently as September to withhold $391 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine until its President announced investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Keep reading...