Donald Trump Jr. managed to dunk on himself Monday night when he pushed a conspiracy theory about voter fraud in Florida using a 2012 article
that debunked said theory.
Trump Jr. shared the six-year-old article from NBC 6
with the headline claiming, "Nearly 200,000 Florida Voters May Not Be Citizens." The president's son shared the article hours after it was pushed out by Charlie Kirk and other far-right conspiracy theorists.
"This is an absolute disgrace to our country," Kirk wrote on Twitter, according to Raw Story
. "Foreign interference in our elections. Every single one of these people should be arrested, deported, and never allowed reentry."
Trump Jr. apparently did not click through on the link he shared, though, because an editor's note at the top of the article quashes the 2012 claim made by Florida election officials that about 182,000 ineligible people registered to vote.
"The initial list of 180,000 names was whittled to 2,625, according to the Florida Department of State," the Nov. 12 note says. "The state then checked a federal database and stated it found 207 noncitizens on the rolls (not necessarily voting but on the rolls). That list was sent to county election supervisors to check and it also turned out to contain errors. An Aug. 1, 2012, state elections document showed only 85 noncitizens were ultimately removed from the rolls out of a total of about 12 million voters at that time."
That takes Trump Jr. from "200,000" non-citizen voters to just 85 – about 0.000007 percent of the 12 million voters in Florida who were properly registered back in 2012.
Trump Jr. spreading a fake conspiracy theory that debunks itself isn't just a mistake, as stupid as it may seem – it's part of a concerted effort on the part of Trump, Gov. Rick Scott and far-right provocateurs to cast doubt on Florida's recount process. The margin between Scott and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has narrowed considerably, and it's easier to call "fraud" than to let county election offices continue on their normal process and count every single vote.
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