Trump baselessly claims Georgia will ‘flip Republican’

Sunil Kumar
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William Hartmann, a Republican member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, who temporarily blocked certification of election results in the Michigan county on Tuesday, has recently shared conspiracy theories about the election and Covid-19 on Facebook, CNN has found. He also shared racist posts about President Barack Obama during his presidency. 

On Tuesday, he was one of two Republicans on the four-person Wayne County bipartisan canvassing board to temporarily block certification of votes based on dubious claims of voting irregularities in Detroit.

The initial vote against certification drew the attention of the President, who posted a series of tweets praising the GOP members of the canvassing board for “having courage.” 

After a few hours, however, Hartmann and his Republican colleague voted to certify the votes. 

On Saturday, November 7th, the day major news outlets projected Joe Biden President-elect, Hartmann posted on Facebook, “I’m reading the news on how great things are now that Biden and Harris are in as declared by the MSM. What will happen if it doesn’t happen once the official results are tallied? I wouldn’t sell the farm yet.” 

Later that day, he wrote, “I’m not really one to promote conspiracy theories” but told his Facebook friends to look up “hammer and scorecard” a conspiracy theory that has been widely debunked but did go viral after the election. 

On November 9th, Hartmann furthered a conspiracy theory pushed by some Trump supporters that suggested the timing of the announcement of a Covid-19 vaccine was politically-motivated. “As predicted: Not even a week after the election and they’ve now got a covid vaccine that’s 90% effective.”

CNN has reached out to Hartmann for comment through social media, email and though phone numbers listed as being associated with him.

In October, he shared a link to an OAN video that pushed a widely debunked conspiracy theory that claims hospitals are inflating the Covid-19 death-toll by falsely reporting deaths from the virus. 

“Eye Opener. Do the math. How much were Hospitals overpaid by falsely reporting?” Hartmann wrote. 

That post was labeled as false by Facebook’s fact-checkers.

Hartmann has shared multiple videos from OAN on Facebook over the past few weeks. OAN is a conservative cable network that the President has been promoting heavily in recent days as it continues to share misinformation undermining the integrity of the election. 

The relevance of Hartmann’s Facebook posts in light of the deadlock in Michigan were flagged earlier on Twitter by Del Quentin Wilber, a reporter for The Los Angeles Times. 

When President Obama was in office, Hartmann’s shared a series of racist posts about the President on Facebook that were still online on Wednesday.

The images in the posts equated Obama to a criminal and an Islamic terrorist.

Facebook removed one of the posts – which equated Obama to an Islamic terrorist – after the company was contacted by CNN on Wednesday. Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the post was removed under Facebook’s hate speech policies. The company did not immediately provide comment about the other posts. 

CNN’s Mi Seon Lee contributed reporting





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