Trump praised a group of “highly respected” GOP auditors in Arizona. Then they confirmed Biden won.
In a statement, Trump said Cyber Ninjas’ audit found “significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!”
A spokesperson for the auditor contradicted Trump’s claims: “It doesn’t look like” there was fraud.
Former President Donald Trump backpedaled from praising a group of “highly respected” GOP auditors in Arizona after their audit of the state’s election results confirmed that Joe Biden won the general election. Trump also released a misleading statement on Friday morning that said the audit found “significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!”
The statement was contradicted by a spokesperson for Cyber Ninjas, who earlier told an NPR affiliate in Arizona: “Was there massive fraud or anything? It doesn’t look like it.”
The Cyber Ninjas’ partisan audit concluded that Biden won by a slightly higher margin than was previously known, a draft of its findings obtained by media outlets said. The official report is scheduled to be presented to the Arizona state Senate at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Cyber Ninjas was widely denounced for conducting a “sham” audit to vindicate right-wing conspiracy theories that Trump won the state and that the election was stolen from him. But the draft of the audit’s findings flew in the face of those claims and found that Trump actually lost to Biden by hundreds more votes in Arizona’s largest county.
“Interesting that the Unselect Committee of political hacks ‘dropped’ their subpoena request the night before Arizona is expected to announce its findings from the Forensic Audit on voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election Scam,” Trump said in his original statement, which was sent around 11 p.m. ET on Thursday.
“This is what they do, this is what they are good at – but everybody will be watching Arizona tomorrow to see what the highly respected auditors and Arizona State Senate found out regarding the so-called Election!” the statement continued.
But the former president seemed unaware that around the time his statement was posted, details of the audit had already been released, and it concluded that Trump lost to Biden by 300 more votes than in Maricopa County’s official count.
Shortly after 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Trump released a new statement calling attention to the “huge findings in Arizona.”
“However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts-just like they did in November!” the statement continued. It also said that the audit “uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!”
In fact, the Cyber Ninjas review concluded that the group’s recount of ballots cast in Maricopa County in the 2020 election had “no substantial differences” from the county’s own official, certified tallies, which were conducted in November.
Maricopa County Board Chair Jack Sellers said as much in a statement about the draft. He said that “the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters.”
“That should be the end of the story,” he continued. “Everything else is just noise.”
Still, Trump insisted in his second statement that “until we know how and why this happened, our Elections will never be secure.”
Cybersecurity and election efforts concluded that the 2020 election was the safest and most secure election in US history, despite a huge influx of mail-in ballots amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Maricopa County election officials criticized the Cyber Ninjas audit, saying in a Twitter thread that it “did not build trust.”
“Good audits built trust. B/c they are conducted by experienced professionals who use well-defined, proven processes which produce reproducible results, good election audits provide quantifiable proof that that reported results match the canvass,” a tweet from the county’s official account said. “Board members support good audits. Regardless of what ends up in the final report, what Cyber Ninjas & co. conducted was not a good audit.”
Note: An initial version of this story incorrectly said that Trump deleted his original statement, citing ABC News’ reporting.
Read the original article on Business Insider