How Twitter Enables Political Misinformation

Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) attends a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, October 12, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/Reuters Pool)

Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) slammed allegations by Trump campaign legal counsel Sidney Powell on Thursday that Democratic and Republican politicians may have paid to change the general-election results.

President Trump’s legal team brought forward various accusations of voter fraud during a press conference. Lawyer Rudy Giuliani alleged that there was a “national conspiracy” to steal the election for Joe Biden, although he did not reveal evidence for the claim, while Powell implied that politicians from both parties may have paid to skew the results.

“We have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates in any state across the country paid to have the system rigged to work for them,” Powell said.

“That is an offensive comment,” Senator Ernst said on the Guy Benson Show. “For those of us that do stand up and represent our state in a dignified manner, we believe in the honesty, we believe in the integrity of our election system.”

Ernst added, “I do believe that if there is fraud out there, it should be brought to the courts’ attention. . . . I think all of us agree on that. But to insinuate that Republican and Democratic candidates paid to throw off this election, I think is absolutely outrageous.”

Ernst defeated Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield, a well-funded candidate Democrats hoped could help overturn the Republican Senate majority, by 7 percentage points. Major political forecasters including FiveThirtyEight, Cook Political Report, and Inside Elections rated the race a “tossup.”

Commenting on the press conference, Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) pointed out that the Trump campaign has not backed up many of its allegations of voter fraud with evidence.

“Based on what I’ve read in their filings, when Trump campaign lawyers have stood before courts under oath, they have repeatedly refused to actually allege grand fraud—because there are legal consequences for lying to judges,” Sasse said in a statement to National Review. “Wild press conferences erode public trust.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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