Fake news is a serious problem for our country, as President Obama has noted. Fake news beat out real news in the final months before the election. Even the people getting rich off fake news admit they helped Trump win. And that's frustrating for many journalists who work hard to report the facts. So when Donald Trump supporters falsely insisted—citing Facebook as evidence—that "3 million illegals" voted in California, CNN reporter Alisyn Camerota's reaction was understandable: she literally face-palmed.
During the clip, one female Trump supporter said, "Voting is a privilege in this country, and you need to be legal—not like in California, where 3 million illegals voted."
Camerota calmly responded, "Let's talk about that." The woman then enthusiastically said she's glad she brought it up. Camerota replied, "Me too," as others laughed. "Where are you getting your information?"
"From the media! Where else would we get it?" the woman answered. When asked which media specifically, the woman claimed, "Some of it was CNN, I believe. It was coming all across the media. All across." CNN did not report the false story, and the woman admitted she wasn't exactly sure where she got the information.
The woman said she does believe "there was a good amount" of illegal voting "because the president told people they could vote." She claimed, "We caught some people and they said, 'The president said I could vote, I'm here illegally.'"
The president did not say that.
Camerota keeps her cool and asks genuinely, "Did you hear President Obama say that illegal people could vote?" The woman immediately replied, "Yes," as others panelists nodded their heads in agreement. When asked where they heard that information, another female Trump supporter chimed in, "You could find it- Google it. You could find it on Facebook."
Camerota did just that. She found where it came from and pointed out that it's already been debunked. "Fox Business Network deceptively edited a clip of Barack Obama to argue that the president encouraged illegal immigrants to vote when he said nothing of the sort when you go back to the transcript," Camerota read from a Mediaite article. Alas, the pro-Trump panelists didn't buy into the fact-check.
Dumbfounded, Camerota asked again, "You as you sit here today think that millions of illegal people voted in this country and you believe that there was widespread voting abuse? In the millions of people?"
The panelists still do, with the first woman claiming "California allows it." Obviously, California does not allow that, which Camerota pointed out to no avail. "They do not allow illegals—you mean voter fraud, California allows?" Camerota asked while face-palming.
Yep, the Trump supporter is still convinced. "I believe there was voter fraud in this country."
Notably, the president-elect himself has spread the completely unfounded claim:
The blatantly false claim is unusual for a number of reasons. For one, it's weird for the president who won the election to claim there was widespread voter fraud.
And even if the women's claim that 3 million undocumented immigrants voted in California were true, Hillary Clinton won the state by more than 4 million votes—8,541,628 to 4,371,991—so those "illegal" votes wouldn't have made a difference at all. California has gone to the Democratic candidate in the last seven elections. So if the Clinton campaign really did "rig" the election, why would they promote voter fraud in a state where it would literally change nothing?
Of course, many people on Twitter are justifiably concerned about the video and what it means for the future of our country:
Y'all, we need to stay informed and fact-check what we read.