Disinfo: The 2020 US presidential election was marked by fraud and media bias


There’s quite an amusing tweet from eight years ago, in which Donald Trump warns about electoral fraud: “‘It doesn’t matter who you vote for, it matters who is counting the votes.’ Be careful of voter fraud!” This is what Trump wrote a month before the 2012 presidential election.

And what is happening now is certainly astounding. Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani stated there had been machinations during the vote count. Even the OSCE notes the bias in the American TV channels’ coverage of the US election.


The story is part of an emerging pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative seeking to delegitimise the conduct and results of the 2020 US presidential election.

The OSCE report referred to in the segment noted that President Trump had issued warnings of large-scale falsification "without presenting any substantial evidence of systematic malfeasance and contradicting election officials at all levels" (p. 3), and that "[i]n contrast to these allegations, national security agencies issued statements attempting to reassure citizens about the integrity of the election process" (p. 11).

Nor does the OSCE charge US broadcast media outlets with "bias." The "Media" section of the report states that "freedom of expression was respected with a wide range of election-related information available, thus enabling voters to make an informed choice" (p. 15). What the OSCE does say in its assessment of US election coverage is that "[t]he cable networks," i.e. the liberal-leaning MSNBC and the conservative-leaning Fox News, both subscription-based channels, "were mostly relying on reporting opinions at the expense of balanced coverage" (ibid.). This appraisal does not extend to public broadcasters (NPR, PBS), national networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), newspapers, or online outlets.


  • Reported in: Issue 219
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: US Presidential Election 2020, Mainstream media, Donald Trump, Media, Joe Biden, Elections


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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