Double Negative, a common grammatical elephant trap, claimed a high-profile hunt on Saturday night. Donald Trump.
In a statement, the former president said: “Anyone who doesn’t think the 2020 presidential election wasn’t massive electoral fraud is either too stupid, or too corrupt!”
There was no large-scale electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden by 306-232 in the Electoral College and by more than 7m ballots in the popular vote.
But Trump thinks, or at least says, that there Was Large-scale electoral fraud. Although his own formula would make him “too stupid, or too corrupt”, his claims have had a fatal effect, fueling the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
This led to Trump being expelled from social media, which is why he now communicates by statement, nominally a means of communication less open to spontaneous error.
As it happens, Trump has some form with the double negatives and threats he presents.
In July 2018, in Helsinki, he famously stood next to Vladimir Putin of Russia and said “I see no reason why this would happen,” said Russia, which interfered in the 2016 US election.
Under criticism for that remark, Trump said: “The sentence should have been: ‘I see no reason why I wouldn’t’ or ‘Why it wouldn’t be Russia’. Kind of a double negative.”
The ridicule was jubilant and sharp. So it was Saturday night again, on Twitter, perhaps the most costly to the lost platform Trump.
Kyle Cheney, a reporter for Politico wrote: “It … doesn’t say what Donald Trump thinks.”
ABC correspondent John Carl, author of a bestselling book on the end of Trump’s presidency, Offered A piece of wishful thinking: “He finally accepted…”
and George Conway, a conservative critic married to Kellyanne Conway, a loyal Trump adviser, wrote: “Seriously, I don’t usually find it surprising when he says something that isn’t wrong, but no one – not even the former person – can be right all the time.”