Trump Jr. pushes Florida voter fraud conspiracy—from 2012

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Editors have since corrected the article.

Donald Trump Jr. and several other high-profile conservatives came under fire on Monday after digging up and circulating a debunked 2012 NBC article in support of their claim of widespread voter fraud in the  2018 midterms. 

The rhetorical campaign was launched formally by President Donald Trump in a tweetstorm on Friday when he alleged foul play in the tight Senate race in Florida.

In a bid to establish the president’s baseless accusations, conservatives dug up a since debunked six-year-old article which reports that Florida state officials found “nearly 200,000 registered voters” that may not have been U.S. citizens.

David Wohl, father of right-wing provocateur Jacob Wohl, appears to have first pushed the piece in a tweet that blasts Florida as a “Banana Republic.”

In a fever of excited confirmatory bias, major conservative pundits and pro-Trump media personalities began to share the article. Charlie Kirk, who also pushed it, has since deleted his tweet. 

https://twitter.com/charliekirk11/status/1062064185834700802

The article eventually made it all the way to the top, tweeted out by the president’s son.

Unfortunately for those on the right, an NBC editorial correction published at the top of the article since its resurgence on Monday makes clear that, far from 200,000 fraudulent votes in Florida, “only 85 noncitizens were ultimately removed from the rolls out of a total of about 12 million voters at that time.”

Those who were already ridiculing the narrative took great joy in pointing this out.

For those already convinced that there is a grand liberal conspiracy to disenfranchise Republicans, however, the facts are unlikely to make a difference.

David Gilmour

David Gilmour

David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.