As President Donald Trump continues spreading lies about the election result, his campaign spokesperson posted a fake front page on Twitter on Sunday suggesting that news outlets incorrectly named former vice president Al Gore the winner of the 2000 presidential election.
In the tweet, which has since been deleted, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh shared photos of a fabricated Washington Times' newspaper front page with the headline "President Gore."
In his tweet, Murtaugh wrote, "Greeting staff at @TeamTrump HQ this morning, a reminder that the media doesn't select the President."
Trump staff had apparently printed out the front page and plastered it all over their office kitchen as some form of motivation to keep fighting against the media's project of Joe Biden winning the Electoral College.
BuzzFeed News has journalists around the US bringing you trustworthy stories on the 2020 elections. To help keep this news free, become a member.
There was just one problem: The front page was a complete fabrication.
The Washington Times later replied to Murtaugh's tweet, saying that the image was "doctored," and that the newspaper "never ran a 'President Gore' headline."
"We also wish to add that Mr. Murtaugh has been officially notified via email about this error," the Times added.
Murtaugh and the Times did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' requests for comment.
The fake front page, which includes the text of the actual story printed by the Washington Times on Nov. 8, 2000 (which said that George W. Bush had defeated Gore), appears to have been originally posted in 2010 on the website DeviantArt.com.
During what was a chaotic election night in 2000, major news networks initially named Gore the projected winner of the state of Florida, but then retracted that call and projected that Bush had won the state and the presidency. But after it became clear the race was too close to call, networks again retracted their projection. Bush ultimately won Florida and the presidency after a Supreme Court decision ended a recount in the state.
Unlike 20 years ago, networks and news outlets did not project a winner on election night this year. Instead, due to an unprecedented number of voters casting ballots by mail, they waited until Saturday morning to declare Joe Biden the winner after determining Trump could not overcome the Democratic nominee's widening margin in the state of Pennsylvania, which, with its 20 electoral votes, pushed him over the 270 electoral-vote benchmark needed to win the presidency.
Since Election Day and even after Biden was named the winner, Trump has falsely claimed victory and alleged a widespread conspiracy to steal the election from him, as part of a monthslong effort to undermine the election and democracy. While it takes weeks to certify the results of an election (and Biden won't technically be declared the winner until the Electoral College votes on Dec. 14), the vote counts released by election officials are clear: Biden will be the next president of the United States.
If you have a news tip, we’d like to hear from you. Reach out to us via one of our tip line channels.
Earlier Sunday, former president Bush issued a statement saying that he had called both Biden and Vice President–elect Kamala Harris to congratulate them, adding that the election results were "clear."
"No matter how you voted, your vote counted," Bush said, adding that Trump has "the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated."
Still, he said, "The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear."