Donald Trump has accused Google of manipulating the 2016 US election in favour of his democratic rival Hillary Clinton, citing a conservative judicial activist site that frequently makes false accusations and spreads conspiracies against liberals.
"Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!" Mr Trump tweeted. "This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!"
Since his 2016 electoral victory, Mr Trump has frequently claimed — falsely — that millions of votes were illegally cast during that contest. This latest accusation does not cite a specific study, and instead tagged the group Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group that targets Democrats through frequent lawsuits, and has made false or unsubstantiated claims in the past that have been picked up by conservative or right-wing news outlets.
Mr Trump was able to win the presidency by garnering a majority of the country's Electoral College votes, but lost the popular vote to Ms Clinton by nearly three million votes across the country.
The integrity of the 2016 election has been a hot topic for years, however most observers of the election have pointed towards outside influence from Russia as the biggest source of an attack on the election. Russia, during that election, sought to boost Mr Trump's candidacy, according to the investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller's team.
But, when it comes to fraudulent voting, numerous groups including prominent Republicans have refuted the idea.
That includes New York University's Brennan Centre for Justice, which says in its website: "President Donald Trump has repeatedly, and falsely, claimed millions voted illegally. Yet examination after examination of voter fraud claims reveal fraud is very rare, voter impersonation is nearly non-existent, and much of the problems associated with alleged fraud relates to unintentional mistakes by voters or election administrators."
When reached for comment, a Google spokesperson took issue with the claim Mr Trump cited, and claimed the search engine giant has not manipulated search results in the past.
The statement said: “This researcher's inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016. As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment. Our goal is to always provide people with access to high quality, relevant information for their queries, without regard to political viewpoint.”
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