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Politics Fact check: Trump lawyer Sidney Powell falsely stated he won election 'by a landslide'

23:05  24 november  2020
23:05  24 november  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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The claim: Sidney Powell said Trump won by a landslide

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the election in the briefing room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. © Evan Vucci, AP President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the election in the briefing room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington.

According to a viral meme quoting one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, he won the election “by a landslide.” While Sidney Powell's statement is not true, she is correctly quoted.

“We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up. President Trump won by a landslide and we are going to prove it. We are going to reclaim the United States of America,” reads a Facebook meme.

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Christian social media personality Elizabeth Johnston posted the meme quoting Powell on Nov. 19.

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“This woman is fire! Surround her with prayer and proclaim the promises of Psalm 91 over her. Her actions may leave a permanent footprint in our Republic and turn the course of this election around,” Johnston captioned the meme.

Johnston’s logos appears below Powell’s quote.

Other Trump fans quickly jumped on board, posting memes claiming Trump's victory that matched Powell's "landslide" rhetoric.

Neither Powell nor Johnston has responded to USA TODAY's request for comment.

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Meme correctly quotes Powell at press conference

C-SPAN footage shows Powell made the false statement 52 minutes into a press conference about the Trump campaign’s election legal challenges. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, also spoke at the Nov. 19 event.

The meme is close to accurate in quoting Powell. Her full quote is: "We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom."

She closed with the statement after making several unsubstantiated claims that Dominion Voting Systems, whose vote-counting software used by many states, had deleted votes for Trump.

USA TODAY has previously debunked false claims that Dominion Voting Systems illegally produced a Biden victory.

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Later on Nov. 19, the Republican National Committee shared a clip of Powell’s statement on Twitter where it received more than 100,000 likes, 50,000 retweets and 3.8 million views.

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No evidence to support Powell's claim

Since the election, Powell — who represented Michael Flynn after he was indicted for lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian ambassador — has touted many baseless allegations about election corruption.

Powell found herself at odds with Fox News host Tucker Carlson who criticized her for failing to provide supporting evidence during his Nov. 19 show.

"When we checked with others around the Trump campaign, people in positions of authority, they told us Powell has never given them any evidence either, nor did she provide any today at the press conference," Carlson told his viewers.

"But she never demonstrated that a single, actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another," he continued. But, after a backlash, Carlson provided an "update" that seemed to backtrack on some of his harsh criticism of Powell.

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Tucker Carlson wearing a suit and tie: Fox News host Tucker Carlson © Richard Drew/AP Fox News host Tucker Carlson

On Nov. 22, the Trump campaign disavowed Powell.

"Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity," Giuliani and Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis announced in a statement.

Days prior to the announcement, Trump had listed Powell as a member of his legal team in a tweet.

USA TODAY has investigated and debunked many claims of election fraud relating to the Nov. 3 election and has found no evidence that Trump won and was deprived of a victory by fraud.

Our rating: Missing context

We rate the claim that President Trump's lawyer Sidney Powell said he won the election "by a landslide" MISSING CONTEXT, because without additional context it is misleading. While she did make that claim, the assertion is false. Joe Biden is the president-elect after having garnered enough electoral votes as a result of the popular vote across the country earlier this month.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Elizabeth Johnston, Nov. 19, Facebook post
  • ElizabethJohnston.org
  • @godblessdjt, Nov. 20, Instagram post
  • C-SPAN, Nov. 19, "Trump Campaign News Conference on Legal Challenges"
  • The New York Times, Nov. 19, "How Sidney Powell inaccurately cited Venezuela’s elections as evidence of U.S. fraud."
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 14, "Fact check: Dominion voting machines didn't delete votes from Trump, switch them to Biden"
  • GOP, Nov. 19, tweet
  • USA TODAY, Oct. 7, "Michael Flynn's lawyers say judge is 'hostile,' should recuse himself from Trump ally's case"
  • Associated Press, Nov. 19, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump legal team’s batch of false vote claims"
  • Independent, Nov. 20, "Trump lawyer Sidney Powell fires back at ‘rude’ Tucker Carlson as even he says she lacks evidence for voter fraud"
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 23, "Election 2020 live updates: Trump legal team distances itself from lawyer Sidney Powell, Biden taps Blinken as secretary of state"
  • Donald J, Trump, Nov. 14, tweet
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 18, "Fact check: What's true and what's false about the 2020 election"
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 20, "Tucker Carlson gives 'update' after segment on Sidney Powell, voter fraud draws backlash"

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For Trump advocate Sidney Powell, a playbook steeped in conspiracy theories

  For Trump advocate Sidney Powell, a playbook steeped in conspiracy theories The appellate lawyer has emerged as a key voice on the far right, fueling skepticism that Joe Biden rightfully won presidential contests in key battleground states. Fast forward two decades — through a bitter case she says shook her faith in the U.S. justice system — and there was Powell at a lectern at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee, introduced as an attorney representing President Trump.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Trump lawyer Sidney Powell falsely stated he won election 'by a landslide'

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usr: 3
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