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Hillary Clinton fires back at Trump over Google allegation

The Hill logo The Hill 8/19/2019 Emily Birnbaum
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton are posing for a picture: Hillary Clinton fires back at Trump over Google allegation © Getty Hillary Clinton fires back at Trump over Google allegation

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday fired back at President Trump over his allegations that Google manipulated the 2016 elections in her favor.

"Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!" Trump had claimed earlier in the day.

Clinton pointed out that the study referenced by Trump was "debunked" and its methodology has been discredited.

"The debunked study you're referring to was based on 21 undecided voters," Clinton tweeted. "For context that's about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted."

Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 34 people, including six Trump associates, as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Several of the indicted individuals included Russian nationals associated with the Internet Research Association, a Russian troll farm unaffiliated with the Trump campaign.

Trump's tweet appeared to refer to research from Robert Epstein, a psychologist with a group based in Vista, Calif., called the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.

In a statement on Monday, a Google spokesperson dismissed Epstein's claim that its searches manipulated at least 2.6 million people into backing Clinton, pointing out it has been circulating for three years.

"This researcher's inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016," the spokesperson said. "As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment."

"Our goal is to always provide people with access to high quality, relevant information for their queries, without regard to political viewpoint."

Trump has been railing against the country's largest tech companies for months, alleging the platforms routinely censor conservative voices. The companies have vehemently denied that politics plays any role in their content moderation decisions, and social media experts have found little evidence that the platforms are biased against conservatives beyond individual anecdotes.

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