In a middle of an unhinged Twitter rant about his electoral loss late Tuesday night, President Donald Trump threw out a wild conspiracy theory about Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, that was so outrageous that the far-right website Gateway Pundit recently deleted an article that made the same claim.
“I love the Great State of Georgia, but the people who run it, from the Governor, @BrianKempGA, to the Secretary of State, are a complete disaster and don’t have a clue, or worse. Nobody can be this stupid. Just allow us to find the crime, and turn the state Republican...” the president tweeted before turning his attention to Raffensperger. “Now it turns out that Brad R’s brother works for China,” he added, “and they definitely don’t want ‘Trump’. So disgusting!”
Among the many problems with those tweets, as CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale pointed out, is that Brad Raffensperger does not have a brother. Georgia reporter Stephen Fowler was one of the first to debunk the theory that Brad is related to Ron Raffensperger, a random man with the same last name who serves as CTO for a subsidiary of the Huawei conglomerate.
UPDATE: Dale corrected his original tweet to clarify that Raffensperger actually does have a brother, but there “remains no basis for Trump’s claim a sibling works for China—it’s some dude by the same last name.” The fact-checker apologized for “spreading the inaccurate statement that he doesn’t have a brother at all.”