WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump revived his criticism of Google on Tuesday, referencing a fired engineer who claimed the internet giant was working against his re-election.
The latest diatribe from Trump was based on allegations voiced by a former Google engineer interviewed on Fox News.
“I watched Kevin Cernekee, a Google engineer, say terrible things about what they did in 2016 and that they want to ‘Make sure that Trump losses in 2020,’ ” Trump said in a tweet Tuesday.
The comments were the latest from the U.S. leader alleging, without supporting evidence, that Silicon Valley giants distort searches and social feeds to suppress conservatives.
Trump has assailed Google on several occasions, claiming bias against him and his supporters.
Google repeated its response that these claims are baseless.
“The statements made by this disgruntled former employee are absolutely false,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
“We go to great lengths to build our products and enforce our policies in ways that don’t take political leanings into account. Distorting results for political purposes would harm our business and go against our mission of providing helpful content to all of our users.”
Trump’s tweets also cited claims from Peter Schweizer, who heads a conservative think tank linked to conspiracy theories against Democrats.
He said that Schweizer “stated with certainty that they suppressed negative stories on Hillary Clinton, and boosted negative stories on Donald Trump. All very illegal. We are watching Google very closely!”
According to media reports, Cernekee has been linked to white nationalist groups and sought to raise funds for supremacist activist Richard Spencer, and was fired because he violated company policies including using a personal device to download internal Google documents.
Google’s statement on Cernekee stated: “We enforce our workplace policies without regard to political viewpoint. Lively debate is a hallmark of Google’s workplace culture; harassment, discrimination, and the unauthorized access and theft of confidential company information is not.”