Trump team uses Iowa caucus to spread lies about election 'rigging'

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It's the latest in a long history of Trump and his supporters promoting unfounded theories about election rigging.

Donald Trump's campaign manager and many of his surrogates were quick to claim after Monday's Iowa caucuses that a delay in announcing results is proof the entire nomination process is "rigged." This is the latest in a long history of Team Trump promoting conspiracy theories about election rigging.

Iowa's state Democratic Party told reporters Monday night it was reviewing the numbers "out of an abundance of caution" and would release results from the first-in-the-nation voting on Tuesday. With no evidence whatsoever, Trump's 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale quickly suggested something nefarious might be going on.

"Quality control = rigged?" Parscale tweeted. He told a Washington Post reporter, "It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process."

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Trump's oldest son stated the "rigging" theory as a fact. "The fix is in... AGAIN" Donald Trump Jr. claimed. He also suggested Democratic Party operatives were inventing fake votes for their preferred candidate. "Tens of thousands of ballots all for Joe Biden being shipped to Iowa from Broward County Florida as we speak. 'Don't worry folks we got this covered' DNC operatives."

Trump's younger son, Eric Trump, made similar unfounded allegations. "Mark my words," he said, "they are rigging this thing... what a mess. This is why people don't want the #Dems running our country."

Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for Trump's reelection campaign, shared her conspiracy theories in a poem. "Dems rigging it in Iowa? Such a peculiar vote delay. They just can't let the People have their say!"

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a prominent Trump defender, claimed that if Joe Biden had won, "we probably would have some results right now."

Right-wing personality Mike Cernovich repeated the word "RIGGED!" 35 times in a row in one tweet.

Iowa's complicated caucus system — especially its more-complex Democratic process — can mean slow results. Indeed, back in 2012, it took weeks before Rick Santorum was announced as the narrow winner of the Republican caucuses in the state.

Trump also claimed that the 2016 Iowa GOP caucus was invalid and needed to be "nullified," or done over, after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) defeated him.

In the 2016 campaign and this one, Donald Trump has often asserted the Democratic party has rigged the system against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Trump again alleged over the weekend that the Democratic National Committee was trying to "rig the election" against Sanders. The Sanders campaign rejected Trump's claims, saying Monday the primary process was "not currently rigged."

Trump's strategy may be aimed at convincing Sanders supporters not to back the eventual Democratic nominee if it is not the Vermont senator. Some reports suggest Trump hopes to help make Sanders the nominee, believing him an easier general election opponent to beat.

Trump also asserted throughout the 2016 general election that the race was "rigged at polling places" for Hillary Clinton — a claim that was seemingly disproved by the election results.

Troy Price, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, said Tuesday that they had "determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the [results collection] app was sound," but due to a bug was "reporting out only partial data." The party is checking results against paper documentation, he said, and plans to release results "as soon as possible today."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.