Following his performance at the first presidential debate on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accused veteran newsman Lester Holt, who moderated the debate, of bias and described the presidential debated as “rigged.” He has also accused Google of a conspiracy to rig the search results in favor of the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Trump launched the first of his attacks against the NBC News anchor a day after the debate, which was held in New York on Monday, September 26. During his appearance on Fox News, Trump claimed that Holt had leaned “more than a little” to the left.
After first suggesting that his microphone was tampered with to impede his performance, he stepped up his criticism of Holt during an interview on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on Wednesday, saying (see video below) that Holt “was much, much tougher on me than he was on Hillary.”
The GOP presidential candidate complained about Holt raising the “birther question” during the debate. But it is known that the estate mogul had played a major role in the so-called “birther movement” which alleges that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and consequently was not qualified to be president.
Trump recently denied that he believed Obama was born outside the U.S. But he blamed Clinton for the birther movement, saying that her campaign originated the claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. during her 2008 campaign.
However, he claimed later that he denied the birther allegation because he wanted to “get on with the campaign,” according to the Washington Post.
Also speaking at a campaign rally in Bedford, New Hampshire, Trump described (see YouTube below) the debate as a “rigged deal.”
“During the debate the other night, I had to put up with the anchor and fight the anchor all the time on everything I said,” Trump said, according to the Huffington Post. “What a rigged deal. I tell you, we’re in such a rigged system. It is terrible. What’s going on in this country is so sad.”
Trump’s allegation of a “rigged” debate came after he described Holt’s moderation as “very fair” while responding to questions from a CNN reporter immediately after the debate.
“I thought Lester did a great job. Honestly, I thought Lester did a great job,” Trump had said, according to CNN.
But Trump explained later on “The O’Reilly Factor” that he changed his mind about his assessment of Holt’s performance after reviewing the debate and commentaries.
“When I first did it, I thought he was fine,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about it, but when I reviewed it and when I saw all of the commentary — because a lot of people thought he was terrible — and I looked at all of the commentary, I realized he was much, much tougher on me than he was on Hillary, it was like day and night.”
Trump also alleged on Wednesday at a campaign event in Waukesha, Wisconsin, that Google was part of the pervasive conspiracy against his presidential campaign.
According to Trump, Google was manipulating search results by suppressing negative stories on Clinton.
But Trump’s campaign has so far refused to comment further on the allegation against Google. Trump campaign has also been reticent about the source of the information that Google results were being manipulated to favor Clinton.
However, the Guardian noted that Trump’s suggestion that Google was conspiring with Clinton was not off-the-cuff, but they were part of his prepared remarks for the day.
The Guardian also noted that the Trump campaign might have taken its cue from a recent report by Sputnik News, an official Russian news outlet, which claimed that Google was manipulating search engine results in Clinton’s favor.
This is not the first time that Google has been accused of favoring Clinton, according to CNET. Similar accusations against the tech giant surfaced online in June. Google denied the allegations, saying that the company has not tweaked its search algorithm, and the accusations were due to people “misunderstanding how autocomplete works.”
Google went on to explain that its autocomplete algorithm, which suggests search terms when users begin typing in a query, does not attach negative terms to the name of an individual appearing in a query.
“Our autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person’s name,” a Google spokeswoman said, according to CNN. “Google autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause. Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how autocomplete works.”
Erich Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, later assured users that the company was neutral in the 2016 presidential campaign.
[Featured Image by John Locher/AP Images]