Twitter posted a warning label on an election-eve tweet from President Donald Trump on Monday, noting that his assertion that a recent Supreme Court decision could lead to problems in the election is misleading.
Trump has repeatedly slammed a Supreme Court decision last week that will allow some absentee ballots to be received after Election Day in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. In a tweet Monday, Trump took the complaint a step farther, arguing it would prompt “rampant” cheating and “violence in the streets.”
There is no evidence that either outcome is likely and the court’s decision was far more limited than Trump’s portrayal. The 4-4 decision allowed ballots that were postmarked by Election Day – or ballots with illegible postmarks – to be received through Nov. 6, three days after the election.
Facebook also fact-checked the president, with a label that says voting fraud is “extremely rare.” As a result of a policy announced in September, the Facebook label is slapped on posts that seek to delegitimize the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods.
Those ballots would be segregated from other mail ballots and the courts could revisit their validity if they prove decisive in Pennsylvania.
Minutes after Trump’s missive, Twitter added a warning label to the post, noting that “some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed” and that it “might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”
Trump has for weeks sought to undermine confidence in mail-in voting that has surged because of the coronavirus pandemic and that polls indicate may benefit Democrats. There is no evidence of widespread problems with mailed ballots and nearly 100 million Americans have cast ballots early – either by mail or in person, according to the U.S. Elections Project.
Trump’s reference to violence comes as law enforcement agencies have braced for the possibility of unrest after the election. But it has largely been Trump himself who has raised concerns about fraud, even as voting experts, election officials of both parties and the courts have pointed to an extremely low frequency of problems with voting.
Trump has ramped up his Twitter presence as he has shuttled between Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and other battleground states in recent days.
In the week beginning Oct. 19, Trump tweeted an average of 37 times a day, according to a USA TODAY analysis. In the past seven days, by contrast, he has nearly doubled that frequency, to about 64 tweets per day.
Most of his tweets have corresponded with his campaign stops and have echoed his stump speech. Trump blasted Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s desire to increase refugee admissions. He posted videos and photos of the large crowds turning out to his last-minute rallies. He touted his recent endorsement from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“If I don’t sound like a typical Washington politician, it’s because I’m NOT a politician,” he tweeted Monday, reprising a line he has been using recently on the campaign trail. “If I don’t always play by the rules of the Washington Establishment, it’s because I was elected to fight for YOU.”
Of course, for Trump, those fights have often played out on Twitter.
As Air Force One touched down in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for Trump’s fourth election eve rally, the president posted his 71st tweet of the day. He still had one more rally, and two-and-a-half hours to go.
— Contributing: Jessica Guynn