The president of the United States of America kicked off the morning with a series of tweets criticizing one of the country’s largest corporations for alleged ties to election tampering and China’s military. In a thread that would have been regarded as a remarkable occurrence under any other administration, Donald J. Trump called out Google by name, tagging CEO Sundar Pichai for good measure.
“[Pichai] of Google was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election,” the president tweeted, “and that they […] are NOT planning to illegally subvert the 2020 Election despite all that has been said to the contrary.”
Trump cited a Lou Dobbs Fox Business Network interview with Peter Schweizer, Breitbart editor and the president of conservative think tank, the Government Accountability Institute. “[Schweizer] stated with certainty that they suppressed negative stories on Hillary Clinton, and boosted negative stories on Donald Ttump [sic],” Trump tweeted. “All very illegal. We are watching Google very closely!”
The tweets are the latest in an ongoing series of public criticisms of Google and other U.S.-based social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Trump and fellow Republicans have long accused the services of a liberal bias, suggesting that they have “shadow banned” and otherwise repressed conservative voices.
Last month, the White House hosted a “social media summit” that eschewed the large tech platforms in favor of 200 conservative social media personalities and activists.
The president’s latest salvo can be linked to comments from Kevin Cernekee, a fired Google engineer who has been making the conservative news rounds this week. “They really want Trump to lose in 2020,” he recently told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “That’s their agenda.”
Google vehemently denied Cernekee’s claims in a statement offered to TechCrunch this morning.
“The statements made by this disgruntled former employee are absolutely false,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We go to great lengths to build our products and enforce our policies in ways that don’t take political leanings into account. Distorting results for political purposes would harm our business and go against our mission of providing helpful content to all of our users.”
Conservative Google employees have claimed that Cernekee led conversations within the company tied to alt-right beliefs — claims he has since denied. “These are false and baseless smears from a jealous and vindictive ex-colleague,” the former Google engineer said in a statement. “I have always supported free speech and opposed white nationalism.”
Cernekee says he was fired from the company for his conservative views. Google maintains he was let go for violating multiple company policies, including downloading internal Google documents on a personal device.