Donald Trump supporters attending his rally in Georgia Saturday night turned against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, erupting in a chant of “Lock him up.”
The crowd responded after an attack by Trump, who inaccurately cited a Fox News report and claimed Georgia officials “took $45 million from Mark Zuckerberg to fund election-related activities,” which he seemed to imply skewed the election to aid a Joe Biden victory. In fact, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated some $400 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which doled out grants to almost all states to help with election administration.
Trump appeared pleased by the anger of the crowd at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. He responded after the chant: “Well, they should be looking at that. What is that all about?”
The men used to be closer. A new biography of venture capitalist Peter Thiel, “Contrarian,” claims that Zuckerberg agreed in a 2019 White House meeting — which included Thiel — to not fact-check political posts if Trump would avoid “heavy-handed regulations.”
Zuckerberg dismissed the account as “ridiculous.” But Trump told Fox News earlier this month that Zuckerberg used to come to the White House to “kiss my ass” so the president wouldn’t “ban” Facebook.
The latest Iowa Poll, published this week in The Des Moines Register, says Trump is more popular in the state after leaving office. Pollster J. Ann Selzer says Trump remains very popular with Republicans and has made recent gains with independents.
"From March it was 45/53 — so a majority of independents saying they had an unfavorable opinion of former President Trump," she said. "In this poll, it was 48/49. So he's evened out the edge that was there as a problem with independent voters in Iowa."
The former president boasted about those numbers in an email to supporters this week.
Baseless claims about the 2020 outcome Trump's trip to Iowa brings up another thing that's unprecedented: the false claims he's pushing about the 2020 election being stolen. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, but Iowans are asking about it at town halls.
At one last month for Grassley in rural western Iowa, a man in the back of the crowded room told the senator that he doesn't trust the outcome of the election.
"I feel in my heart that there was a lot of cheating going on," the man said.
Grassley didn't directly correct the claim. Instead, he defended Iowa's elections and criticized congressional Democrats' plan for a federal voting overhaul.
Bardwell says misinformation has taken hold in the GOP.
"You can't put the genie back in the bottle, in terms of once this accusation is unleashed," he said. "And once it's believed by a large percentage of the Republican base, there's kind of no going back at that point. Mainly because kind of the psychological dynamics of misinformation are such that at that point, people will just find and then rationalize the position that they already have."
Former President Donald Trump spoke about the current political climate at the Trump Rally in Des Moines, IA. He highlighted what he believes to be the current political and economic issues with the Biden administration.