President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign plastered images of a doctored newspaper inside its headquarters to illustrate its view of where the 2020 election stands.
“Greeting staff at @TeamTrump HQ this morning, a reminder that the media doesn’t select the President,” Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director, wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
The post included an image of a doctored Washington Times front page from Nov. 8, 2000, declaring Al Gore the winner over George W. Bush after “Florida pushes Gore over the top with bare majority,” as the text below the headline reads. A second image showed copies of the fake newspaper page taped across the kitchen area of the campaign’s office in Arlington, Va.
Bush won the 2000 election against Al Gore after a recount in Florida, and The Washington Times said Sunday that it never ran a “President Gore” headline.
The newspaper replied directly to Murtaugh’s post on Sunday afternoon, tagging him and the @TeamTrump account and notifying them: “Those photos have been doctored.”
“We also wish to add that Mr. Murtaugh has been officially notified via email about this error,” The Washington Times added in a subsequent reply.
Murtaugh deleted his original tweet, according to Twitter, which said the post was removed by its author.
The attempt to dismiss the media’s role in presidential elections comes as Trump, his campaign and some of his Republican allies continue to contest the result of Tuesday’s election, even after President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivered victory speeches on Saturday after several networks and The Associated Press projected Biden to surpass 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania over the weekend.
Trump himself asked on Twitter on Sunday: “Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be?”
The Associated Press has been calling presidential elections since 1848.
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