CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google and other tech companies, without evidence, of rigging search results about him so that “almost all” of the stories about him at the top of the page are bad.
The president’s broadside at Google, rendered in his favorite medium, a tweet, came just days before he is scheduled to arrive in North Carolina for a fundraising luncheon for Republican congressional candidates Mark Harris, of the state’s 13th congressional district, and incumbent Ted Budd, of the 9th congressional district.
The event will be held at Trump’s golf resort in Mooresville, North Carolina.
Trump tweeted, “ Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of fake news media. In other words, they have it rigged, for me and others, so that almost all stories and news is bad.”
In the tweet, the president goes on to charge that Republican and conservative media are effectively “shut out” of search results.
Trump claimed, again without evidence, that 96 percent of Google search results for the key words are “from national left-wing media.”
The inspiration for the early-morning tweet was reportedly drawn from article PJ Media published last weekend. The story, written by Paula Bolyard claimed “96 percent of Google search results for ‘Trump News’ are from liberal media outlets.”
Bolyard based her research for the article on a media bias chart created by conservative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, which was placed publications like the libertarian Reason.com, whose largest donor is David Koch.
Trump’s economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, told reporters outside the White House this morning that the administration is considering whether or not Google’s search engine should be regulated by the government.
Asked about his tweet later, the president told reporters, “I think Google is really taking advantage of a lot of people. And I think that is a very serious thing and it is a very serious charge.”
“I think what Google and what others are doing, if you look at what is going on with Twitter and if you look at what’s going on in Facebook, they better be careful because you can’t do that to people. You can’t do it,” Trump said. “We have tremendous, we have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. And you just can’t do that. And so I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they are really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful. It is not fair to large portions of the population.”
Google denied rigging the search engine in an announcement Tuesday, saying that its search engine algorithm primarily prioritizes content based on “freshness,” in an effort to emphasize up-to-date information.
The Mountain View, California-based tech company says it makes “hundreds of improvements” to its algorithms every year to ensure “high-quality content” is returned in response to users’ queries.
Adds Google: “We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
Meanwhile, preparations continued apace for Trump’s appearance at the North Carolina fundraiser, an event for which Trump fans and GOP supporters are expected to pay $25,000 a piece.
Polls currently show Budd leading against Democrat Kathy Manning in the 13th district. Harris, a former Baptist pastor criticized for a controversial sermon in which he suggested that women should submit to their husbands, still falls behind Democrat Dan McCready in campaign funds.
Though the candidate criticized the Trump administration’s policy of family separation at the border, Budd shares the President’s perspective on tough sanctions and praised his actions against the contested nuclear deal.
In an op-ed to Fox news two days ago, he said “Iran, Qatar and Hezbollah are responsible for the increase in terrorist-based activities across the Middle East, and we must impose harsh sanctions that directly limit the Iranian regime’s access to finance.”