'He Gave $417 Million. What The Hell is Going On?' Trump Urges Audit of Zuckerberg Election Funding

© REUTERS / GO NAKAMURA / FILE PHOTO: Donald Trump holds a rally in Conroe, TexasFILE PHOTO: Donald Trump holds a rally in Conroe, Texas
FILE PHOTO: Donald Trump holds a rally in Conroe, Texas - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.02.2022
Last October former POTUS Donald Trump insisted new analysis showed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s donation of roughly $419.5 million to election offices through a pair of nonprofits was “illegal”, having purportedly boosted Democratic turnout in key areas.
Former President Donald Trump told an annual gathering of conservative activists in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday that a forensic audit should be carried out of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's megabuck cash injections into election office.
Delivering the keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Trump also reiterated that the 2020 vote had been rigged against him.
“And let's do a full forensic audit of the $417 million given by Mark Zuckerberg - who used to come to the White House and kiss my *ss - they spent to take over local election offices in key Democrat counties,” he said.
The money donated by Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, through a pair of nonprofits — the Center for Technology and Civic Life and the Center for Election Innovation and Research - was supposed to augment government funding and “promote safe and reliable voting” so that “every eligible voter can participate in a safe and timely way and that their vote is counted,” according to a September 2020 press release announcing the plan.
However, Trump, who last October slammed the funding as “illegal” after analysis purported that the cash injection may have boosted Democratic turnout in key areas, continued on Saturday:
“And I believe you're going to be hearing a lot of it. You know if you're a person that wants to make a contribution you're allowed to give less than $6,000 otherwise they put you in jail. He gave $417 million. What the hell is going on?”
Previously, analysis by American Public Media determined that Zuckerberg’s money was not responsible for narrow Biden wins in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
© AP Photo / Tony AvelarFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, the Facebook's developer conference, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in San Jose, Calif.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, the Facebook's developer conference, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.02.2022
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, the Facebook's developer conference, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in San Jose, Calif.
However, data modelling by former University of Dallas economics professor William Doyle using a machine-learning algorithm and published in 2021 by The Federalist, found that the big bucks may have boosted Democrat Joe Biden in Texas, which Trump won, by an estimated 200,000 votes.
President Trump Meets with Mark Zuckerberg - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.10.2021
Trump Calls Facebook CEO a 'Criminal' for Donating $400m to Election Offices
Doyle had revealed that out of the 26 grant recipients that received $1 million or more, 25 were jurisdictions that Biden won in 2020.
Critics weighing in on the data also emphasised purportedly disproportionate funding for some Biden-leaning urban areas, such as Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, which reportedly received $6.32 per capita compared to $1.12 per capita for Berks County. The latter was a top-funded Trump county, which he lost in 2020.
At CPAC, Donald Trump also hinted that “explosive” new evidence would soon prove there was vote-rigging during the November 2020 presidential elections.
“These people - they call them mules - ballots in Georgia and other swing states were trafficked and sold on an unprecedented scale and the brutality ... it was just incredible what took place that we have it on tape,” he said.
At the CPAC conference, Donald Trump also heavily leaned into other complaints about the 2020 election, referencing the court filing by special counsel John Durham that alleged former Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, paid cybersecurity experts to hack into the presidential election campaign of then GOP candidate running against her, Donald Trump, to back her false claim that he "colluded" with Russia to defeat her in 2016.
“Do you remember what I said years ago? I think they spied on my campaign… and everybody said .... How dare he say that? How dare he? Well, it turned out to be true. And I want to thank John Durham for figuring that out,” said Trump.
In this Oct. 9, 2016, file photo Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.02.2022
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Trump yet again offered a hint at a 2024 run for the White House. “On November 2024 they will find out like never before. We did it twice, and we’ll do it again,” said Trump.
Earlier, in a January video of Trump at one of his Florida golf clubs, one of his golfing partners was heard saying: "First on the tee, the 45th president of the United States." To this, Trump had replied: "The 45th and 47th."
Trump has not publicly announced another presidential campaign, while hinting on multiple occasions that he would possibly run again in 2024. At one point he acknowledged that he might "probably" wait until the 2022 midterm elections are over before confirming that.
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