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AP FACT CHECK: Trump is relentless in election fabrications



PHOENIX (AP) — In mid-Could, partisan investigators employed by Arizona state lawmakers backed off their allegation that the state’s most populous county had destroyed its 2020 election database. Confronted with proof that the information nonetheless existed, they admitted all the things was there.

Two months later, the story lives on. At an occasion Saturday, former President Donald Trump offered the debunked allegation as a key piece of proof that the state’s electoral votes had been stolen from him in 2020.

It was one in all a variety of fabricated and acquainted tales Trump instructed the group in his relentless effort to disclaim the well-established legitimacy of his defeat by the hands of President Joe Biden.

Over practically two hours, Trump revisited his touchstones of grievance, leveling allegations of fraud that election officers and judges have systematically refuted or brushed apart. It was Trump’s most specific effort to insert himself into the extensively discredited Arizona audit as he tries to extend the stress on different states to embark on comparable efforts.

He spoke of untold hundreds of useless folks voting — no such phenomenon surfaced in postelection audits. He alleged 168,000 Arizona ballots had been fraudulent — there is no such thing as a help for that.

A have a look at his remarks in Phoenix:

TRUMP: “Unbelievably, the auditors have testified that the grasp database for the election administration system, I’m sorry to inform you, has been deleted…. That means the principle database for all the election-related information in Maricopa for 2020 has been illegally erased. It’s been erased.”

THE FACTS: Wholly false. The database was by no means deleted.

At first, auditors employed by Republican state senators sympathetic to Trump reported {that a} database listing was deleted from an election administration server. The official Twitter account tied to the audit mentioned the deletion amounted to “spoliation of proof.”

The Republican-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors responded by calling the auditors incompetent and threatening to file a defamation lawsuit. Board Chairman Jack Sellers mentioned the auditors “can’t discover the information as a result of they don’t know what they’re doing.” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican who took over the elections workplace after defeating a Democrat, known as the allegation “unhinged.”

The subsequent day, Ben Cotton, founding father of a digital forensics agency engaged on the audit, confirmed he had recovered all the information. “I’ve the knowledge I would like,” he acknowledged, and the auditors deleted their tweet.


TRUMP: “There have been 18,000 individuals who voted in Arizona in 2020 who had been then purged from the rolls instantly after the election.”

THE FACTS: This did not occur. His insinuation that folks had been stricken from the rolls as a result of they voted for him is baseless.

Really, 13,320 voters had been faraway from the rolls within the two months after the election, not 18,000 immediately, and there have been routine the reason why.

Voting rolls are up to date always as folks transfer, die, get convicted of felonies or have their voting rights revoked due to incapacitation. Trump was repeating a declare made by Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the inexperienced agency main the state Senate Republicans’ audit of the 2020 election.

Maricopa County officers mentioned their evaluation of the information reveals 7,916 voters had been faraway from the rolls as a result of they moved out of the county or died between Nov. 3, which was Election Day, and Jan. 2. An extra 5,404 folks had been eliminated for different causes, together with felony convictions, incapacitation or the voters’ personal request to cancel their registration.

The county has about 2.6 million registered voters.

Total, Biden gained Arizona by 10,457 votes out of three.4 million solid. That is vastly greater than the variety of votes the place fraud is actually suspected.

County election officers solely recognized 182 circumstances the place voting issues had been clear sufficient that they referred them to investigators for additional assessment, in response to an Related Press investigation. Thus far, solely 4 circumstances have led to fees. Nobody has been convicted. No individual’s vote was discovered to have been counted twice.


Woodward reported from Washington. Related Press writers David Klepper in Windfall, Rhode Island, and Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.


EDITOR’S NOTE — A have a look at the veracity of claims by political figures.


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