Trump’s voter fraud hotline spectacularly backfired and traumatised staff with porn, book claims

The former president launched several hotlines during his administration, allowing his supporters to report migrant crime or tell him what a great job he did

Justin Vallejo
New York
Tuesday 16 November 2021 22:51
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Trump ad asks supporters to call hotline and say 'Thank you, President Trump!’

The voter fraud hotline set up during the waning days of Donald Trump’s re-election campaign did little more than traumatise young staffers, a new book claims.

The hotline, ostensibly established to collate evidence of fraud for the former president’s legal challenge of the election results, was quickly shut down after it was flooded with porn, prank calls, and TikTok memes. It lasted one week.

ABC News journalist Jonathan Karl writes in Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, that the hotline did nothing but "produce traumatised young Trump campaign workers", according to Raw Story’s review of the new book.

"Pranksters flooded the lines with fake reports as well as vile, threatening, and pornographic messages," Karl wrote. "The material sent in through the web portal consisted almost entirely of pornographic images.’

Karl highlighted one young woman working in the call centre who begged never to answer another call again.

"We are spending our final days answering prank calls and don’t know if we will have jobs by next week," a campaign aide told Karl.

The toll-free number was set up after Election Day as it became clear Joe Biden had won the presidency.

"Help stop voter suppression, irregularities and fraud," the campaign said in social media posts promoting the hotline. "Tell us what you are seeing."

Apart from "disturbing unsolicited adult images", the call centre in Virginia was inundated with songs, movie clips, and TikTok memes.

Eric Trump blamed the Democrats, suggesting it was all part of an elaborate cover-up of his father’s ultimately disproved claims of voter fraud.

"The DNC is spamming our voter fraud hotline to bog down the thousands of complaints we are receiving!" he said in a tweet, adding: "Wonder what they have to hide.”

The spam calls should have been expected. An almost-identical result came of the Trump administration’s migrant crime hotline, which was trolled with reports of "lawbreaking extra-terrestrials".

Launched in 2017, the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) hotline was ordered by Mr Trump to help victims “impacted by crimes committed by removable criminal aliens”.

Activists brigaded the hotline on #AlienDay, which coincided with a day to mark the Alien sci-fi films.

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