President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday morning to attack Google, and allege without evidence that the search giant was looking to influence the 2020 election. “We are watching Google very closely,” he tweeted.
Trump’s tweets were apparently prompted by a segment that aired Monday night on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” In it, Dobbs interviewed former Google employee Kevin Cernekee, who alleged that Google executives were looking to “control the flow of information to the public, and make sure that Trump loses in 2020.”
Cernekee rose to prominence after he was featured in a Wall Street Journal profile last week, in which he alleged that Google fired him for his conservative views. The company has denied this, and said that Cernekee was fired for downloading large amounts confidential information with the help of personal devices.
Since the publication of the Journal story, a report in the Daily Caller has shown that Cernekee wasn’t merely sharing conservative views while at Google. Instead, Cernekee was using Google’s internal message boards to raise money in defense of white nationalist Richard Spencer.
In other posts, he mused whether the extreme-right Traditionalist Workers Party was run by “actual neo-Nazis,” and suggested that a racist skinhead group should rebrand themselves as “The Helpful Neighborhood Bald Guys.”
In the TV segment, which Trump retweeted late Monday night, Lou Dobbs reiterated unproven claims that Google was censoring political advertisement and showing biased search results. Dobbs was then joined by Breitbart News editor-at-large Peter Schweizer, who claimed that Google was “gonna go all in” on election interference in 2020.
Trump went on to tweet Tuesday morning that he had recently been visited by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who had tried to assure him that the company wasn’t looking to influence the 2020 election. “It all sounded good until I watched Kevin Cernekee,” Trump tweeted, adding that the alleged interference was “very illegal.”
A Google spokesperson responded Tuesday to the allegations with the following statement: “The statements made by this disgruntled former employee are absolutely false. 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.”