Trump Urges People to Call Lawmaker. One Problem

He and his campaign posted the wrong number
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2021 1:15 PM CST
A Political Wrong Number Results in a Deluge of Calls
   (Getty/Chainarong Prasertthai)

A random citizen in California got inundated with angry phone calls and text messages after President Trump and his campaign shared their number with close to 40 million followers on social media. The campaign mistakenly thought it was sharing the number of Michigan Rep. Lee Chatfield in Sunday posts urging voters to contact state representatives to demand a vote on decertifying the 2020 election results, reports the Petoskey News-Review. The post incorrectly referred to Chatfield as House speaker, but that wasn't the biggest error. The number it ascribed to Chatfield and shared with its 4.6 million followers on Twitter and Facebook belongs to the 28-year-old Michigan native living in California. Trump re-shared the faulty information with nearly 33 million followers on his own Facebook page.

"I was getting so many calls it was impossible to do anything with my phone," the California resident identified as O Rose, who uses they/them pronouns, tells the Washington Post. Hundreds of calls and texts had come in by midday Monday, per the News-Review. "I told them I was not Lee Chatfield, but they would still not believe me," says Rose. "It was just a string of people progressively denying reality." Eventually, Rose resorted to some good-natured "trolling," responding with goofy memes, hoping to show that people can't assume information they read on Facebook is true. After all, "I'm being personally affected by a decision that [Trump] made without fact-checking, and that's the silliest thing I've ever heard," they tell the Post. The posts, still up early Tuesday, have been taken down. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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