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Fact check: Seven of the most bonkers false claims from Trump’s Georgia rally


It’s almost too bonkers to fact check.

President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Georgia on Monday night, the eve of the critical Senate runoff elections. Supposedly appearing on behalf of Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Trump spent much of his speech making ludicrous claims about the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden.

Many of his comments were so completely untethered to reality — so laughably absurd and so thoroughly debunked — that we don’t think it’s worth spending time delving into the details at this point.

To give you a flavor of the inaccuracy, though, here are fact checks of seven of the things Trump said.

Who won the election

Trump said, “Over the past few weeks, we’ve demonstrated that we won the election in a landslide.” He also said, “And we won not by a little bit. We won in numbers like nobody’s seen before.”

Facts First: Not even a little bit true. Trump lost the election to Biden 306 to 232 in the Electoral College, the same margin Trump described as a “landslide” when he was on the winning end in 2016. In 2020, Biden earned more than seven million more votes than Trump did.

Votes missing?

Trump said, “Hundreds of thousands of votes are missing.”

Facts First: This is, again, just not true at all. Two months after Election Day, Trump and his allies have produced no good evidence that there is any significant number of “missing” votes.


Trump said, “In Pennsylvania, there were 205,000 more ballots cast than there were voters. How do you get around that one — which remains completely unexplained. You have great senators and representatives there and nobody can explain it.”

Facts First: There were not more votes than registered voters in Pennsylvania; state officials and fact checkers have repeatedly explained that this claim is false. Trump appeared to be invoking an incorrect figure from a Republican state legislator who had relied on incomplete data.

Ballots and a river

Trump said, “I hated it, Kelly, when we got ballots in from the military, with Trump all over it, and they got thrown into a river. You saw that: they threw ballots into a river from the military, with my name…”

Facts First: Nope. There is no indication that any ballots were thrown into any river.

Trump might perhaps have been erroneously referring to incidents that did not involve a river. In one incident, nine military ballots, seven of which were known to be cast for Trump, were mistakenly put in the trash of a county elections office in Pennsylvania (a temporary worker was fired). In the other incident, a batch of mail that included ballots was found in a ditch in Wisconsin.

But Trump keeps talking about a supposed river incident that did not happen.

Georgia and the voting age

Trump said, “Sixty-six thousand votes in Georgia were cast by people under the legal voting age.”

Facts First: Georgia elections officials say the actual number is zero.

Gabriel Sterling, a Republican who is the state’s voting system implementation manager, said at a Monday news conference that there were four cases in which residents requested an absentee ballot before they turned 18, but that even these four votes were legal because the voters turned 18 by Election Day.

Election history

Trump said, “We won Florida and Ohio in record numbers. We won Iowa by 8.2%. Nobody’s ever won those three states and lost. Never happened before. It’s almost impossible.”

Facts First: Wrong. Richard Nixon won Florida, Ohio and Iowa in 1960 but lost the election to John F. Kennedy.

The count

Trump said, “Seven states — you know, I was winning by a lot, and then all of a sudden I was losing by a little, tiny bit, just a little. They can only go so far. They had no idea we were going to do the kind of numbers. So that printing press was really moving.”

He noted that had initially led by “700,000 votes in Pennsylvania.” He continued: “It was over. I should have run up to the podium and said, ‘Thank you very much for this wonderful victory.’ Then maybe they wouldn’t have had time to close those booths, right, the counting rooms, and do what they did. But then it all started to disappear.”

Facts First: There is no basis for the suggestion that Trump opponents printed fake ballots to add to the vote count or otherwise executed a massive fraud during the counting process. There is a simple explanation for Trump’s big early leads in some states he ended up losing, including Pennsylvania: he led because many mail-in ballots had not yet been counted.

Media outlets and political analysts had noted for weeks prior to Election Day that we were likely to see a “red mirage” in which Trump would initially appear to be up big in some states that counted mail-in ballots last. Mail-in ballots favored Biden so heavily in large part because Trump had regularly discouraged his own supporters from voting by mail.

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