The Detroit News on Tuesday amplified falsehoods about election security by running an op-ed by Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig that claimed “there are serious examples and ongoing cases of voter fraud in the state of Michigan.”
The former Detroit police chief made the claim after meeting with former President Donald Trump on Sept. 29 in Florida. Craig is seeking Trump’s endorsement, and the former president is only backing candidates who push lies about election fraud.
In the op-ed, Craig calls for an audit of the presidential election in Michigan, which Trump lost by 154,000 votes. Craig cited a handful of well-publicized examples of isolated election fraud that would come nowhere close to tipping the election for Trump.
On the same day as the op-ed, hundreds of Trump supporters, emboldened by conspiracy theories and lies, rallied outside the Capitol to demand an audit.
As journalists, our job is to separate fact from fiction. By giving Craig a platform to peddle disinformation, The Detroit News chose clicks over truth.
On Wednesday, Trump continued his crusade against Republicans who refuse to spread lies about the election. In a statement, he hinted that he would endorse primary candidates who challenge state lawmakers who have not supported an audit.
"Why won’t they give respected professionals and representatives at yesterday’s rally the right to do a Forensic Audit of Wayne County (Detroit) and Macomb County?" Trump said. "That includes the RINOs in the State Senate and House who for, whatever reason, do nothing but obstruct instead of seeking the truth.
"Hopefully, each one of these cowardly RINOs, whose names will be identified and forthcoming, will be primaried, with my Complete and Total Endorsement, in the upcoming election."
During the rally Tuesday, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson emphasized that election officials have already conducted audits and found no irregularities.
“It’s disgraceful to see the former president and his enablers in the Michigan legislature continue to undermine faith in what was a successful, secure election, executed exceptionally well by over 1500 clerks & affirmed by 250+ audits conducted by professional election officials,” Benson tweeted. “By lying to the people of Michigan these ‘leaders’ put their own partisan ambitions ahead of the truth & the needs of our state & country. Their goal is to cause so much frustration & confusion that people give up, disengage, stop voting & thereby stop holding them accountable. I have faith that the people of Michigan will see through this charade and that voters on both sides of the aisle will choose truth, and continue to believe in their voices, their votes and their authority to hold their elected officials accountable.”
In June, Republicans on the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee released a thorough report that concluded there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.
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