Former president Donald Trump has found himself at the centre of a Twitter pile-on after he issued a statement with a double negative on Saturday night, thereby unwittingly referring to himself as “either very stupid, or very corrupt” for alleging election fraud in 2020.
In a statement issued late on Saturday, Mr Trump said: “Anybody that doesn’t think there wasn’t massive Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election is either very stupid, or very corrupt!”
The statement was posted to Twitter, double negative and all, by his spokesperson Liz Harrington. Mr Trump is not able to post to Twitter himself after he was permanently banned.
Mr Trump and his supporters have consistently alleged election fraud in the 2020 vote which he lost to Joe Biden by 306-232 in the electoral college, and by more than 7 million ballots in the popular vote. No evidence of substantial fraud has ever been provided and statewide audits confirmed the Democrats’ win.
His claims of election fraud have had major ramifications for American democracy, including inspiring the 6 January Capitol Hill riots as his supporters tried to stop Congress from certifying Mr Biden’s victory.
After his statement was posted on the social media platform, Twitter erupted with jokes about the former president’s accidental admission.
Kyle Cheney, reporter at Politico tweeted, “This… doesn’t say what Donald Trump thinks it does.”
ABC correspondent Jon Karl tweeted, “He finally conceded …”
George Conway, founding member of the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project, tweeted: “When you’re right, you’re right.”
“Seriously, I usually don’t find it unsurprising when he says something that’s not inaccurate, but no one—not even the former guy—can be not correct all the time,” he added in another tweet.
Jon Cooper, the Long Island campaign chair for former president Barrack Obama, tweeted: “Somebody should explain to Donald Trump what a DOUBLE NEGATIVE is.”
MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, retweeted a tweet from Mr Trump’s legal adviser Jenna Ellis, who tweeted out the statement despite the uproar on Twitter.
Mr Hasan tweeted: “Hours after Trump’s much-mocked double-negative self-own on Twitter, in which he basically confirms there was no election fraud, his top legal adviser just goes and reposts the statement.”
This is not the first time that Mr Trump has been tripped up by a double negative, and found himself under fire as a result.
In July 2018, asked about his own intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 US elections, Mr Trump stood next to Russian president Vladimir Putin and said: “I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia].”
He later said he “misspoke” and blamed a transcript error, saying he had intended to use “sort of a double negative” and say “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia”. However, he somewhat undermined his backing for the US intelligence community by adding: “It could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”