Trump mocked for being reduced to writing letter to editor in Wall Street Journal to rant about election

Paper under fire for publishing former president’s disproven claims without rebuttal

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 28 October 2021 12:16
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Related Video: Trump says supporters won’t vote in the ‘22 or ‘24 elections until his election-fraud theories are validated

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The Wall Street Journal has published a letter to the editor by former President Donald Trump in which he repeats his widely disproven claims about the 2020 election.

Lacking his own online soapbox since being de-platformed from Twitter and Facebook and his subsequent reliance on his spokesperson’s account, his use of the letters page was mocked by some on social media.

The letter came in response to a Journal editorial published on Monday that accurately cited that President Joe Biden won the state of Pennsylvania by 80,000 votes.

Mr Trump wrote: “Well actually, the election was rigged, which you, unfortunately, still haven’t figured out.”

He then listed a series of debunked claims concerning alleged electoral “fraud” in the state in 2020 that were referred to as “bananas”, “as bad as expected”, “desperate”, and “fully insane”.

Bloomberg politics reporter Ryan Beckwith appeared to sum up the feelings of many online by tweeting: “Area Man Writes Letter to the Editor.”

One response to his post was a gif of Grandpa Simpson at a typewriter with the caption: “I am not a crackpot.”

Jonathan Tamari, national political writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, tweeted in response to the letter’s claims: “This is full of absolute lies — from the first bullet point down.”

Some commentators were appalled at the Journal providing a forum for the former president to repeat unfounded claims about the election with no rebuttal or context.

“How can the @WSJ justify publishing a letter to the editor from the former President in which he lists a string of faulty & misleading data points,” asked CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.

At Politico, legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney, who focuses on the 6 January Capitol riot, said that the editorial page had given Mr Trump a “platform to promote nonsense about the 2020 election results”.

Jordan Fischer, investigative reporter for WUSA9, also covering the Capitol riot and the editor of a newsletter tracking the fallout from that day, called the decision to publish “a new low for the WSJ Opinion section” adding that the paper had printed “a litany of election falsehoods from former President Trump – without even a single mention of the fact that their own editorial side has thoroughly debunked these claims”.

Columnist for Bulwark Online and director of Republicans for Voting Rights Amanda Carpenter tweeted: “Trump couldn’t post this on Facebook but the editors at the WSJ collectively decided to put it on their platform. Think about that. And they think they can distance themselves from it by doing it as an LTE. As of that magically absolves them from pushing the lies.”

Jay Willis, editor-in-chief of Balls & Strikes, which provides commentary on courts, judges, and the legal system, observed that “choosing to publish an unhinged letter to the editor from Donald Trump about voter fraud conspiracy theories *without any additional context* is absolutely f***ing insane and unconscionable”.

The former president also took time in his letter to the editor to attack former Attorney General Bill Barr, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Raw Story reports.

“Attorney General Bill Barr ordered US Attorney Bill McSwain to stand down and not investigate election irregularities,” complained Mr Trump.

“Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook poured over $17 million to interfere in the Pennsylvania election, including $5.5 million on ‘ballot processing equipment’ in Philadelphia and $552,000 for drop boxes where the voting pattern was not possible,” he added about the Facebook founder.

Joe Biden won the state of Pennsylvania, gaining 50.01 per cent of the popular vote to Mr Trump’s 48.84 per cent on 3 November 2020.

He received 3,458,229 votes to Mr Trump’s 3,377,674, a margin of victory of 80,555 votes.

Mr Trump won the state in 2016 by a margin of 0.72 per cent. Mr Biden won in 2020 by a margin of 1.17 per cent.

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