Trump's campaign shouts 'rigged' as Iowa caucuses thrown into chaos

Image: Donald Trump Jr. speaks with his brother Eric and wife Lara, as well
Donald Trump Jr. speaks with his brother Eric and wife Lara, as well as his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle during a "Keep Iowa Great" press conference in Des Moines, on Feb. 3, 2020. Copyright Jim Watson AFP - Getty Images
By Allan Smith with NBC News Politics
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

There was no evidence that the state Democratic Party, which is overseeing the election, was "rigging" the results.

ADVERTISEMENT

President Donald Trump's adult sons and campaign suggested the Iowa caucuses were "rigged" as the state Democratic Party said it found "inconsistencies" and delayed releasing results, leading to widespread confusion in the Hawkeye State.

"Mark my words, they are rigging this thing ... what a mess," Eric Trump, one of Trump's sons, tweeted. "This is why people don't want the #Dems running our county."

"The fix is in... AGAIN," tweeted Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. "And we get to watch it play out on live TV. Incredible."

There was no evidence that the state Democratic Party, which is overseeing the election, was "rigging" the results. Early Tuesday, the state party said it would release results from the Democratic caucuses later in the day after "manually verifying all precinct results."

Mandy McClure, communications director for the Iowa Democrats, said Monday night there were "inconsistencies" in reporting the three sets of results.

"In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report," McClure said, adding, "This is simply a reporting issue. The app did not go down, and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results."

Earlier in the night, the state party said it was conducting "quality control checks, making sure the numbers are accurate."

"Quality control = rigged?" tweeted Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale

Kayleigh McEnany, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, questioned whether the results were "being rigged against [Sen.] Bernie Sanders?"

In recent weeks, Trump and his allies have suggested the Democratic Party is conspiring against Sanders, who was leading in the RealClearPolitics polling average of Iowa surveys heading into the caucuses. That echoes claims made about the Democratic and Republican primaries in 2016, where both Sanders and Trump said at different points that the party establishments were "rigging" the process. Last summer, Sanders told MSNBC of the 2016 race that "some people say that if maybe the system was not rigged against me, I would have won the nomination and defeated Donald Trump.

Pushing back on Trump's claims about the 2020 primary, senior Sanders campaign adviser Jeff Weaver told MSNBC ahead of the caucuses Monday the process "is not currently rigged."

Speaking at his Iowa election headquarters following Monday's vote, Sanders said he had a "a good feeling" the Iowa results, once announced, will be favorable to his candidacy.

In his own analysis of the chaos, Trump did not go quite as far as his children and campaign, simply calling it "an unmitigated disaster," adding in a tweet that "The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is 'Trump.''

Trump was NBC News' projectedwinner in the Republican caucuses, getting about 97 percent of the vote. Such a strong result was not in doubt.

Share this articleComments