Donald Trump Attacks Mark Zuckerberg for Ability to 'Change the Course' of Elections

Former President Donald Trump has criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming the billionaire can "change the course" of presidential elections.

Trump made the comments in a post on Gab on Tuesday. The social media site is popular with conservatives and the ex-president is still suspended from Facebook and banned from Twitter.

He referenced an October 13 report from The New York Post about Zuckerberg's financial contributions to two nonprofit groups during the November 2020 election—spending the newspaper claimed helped Joe Biden win the presidency.

Trump began his post by discussing Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska's 1st congressional district, who has been charged with lying to the FBI about campaign contributions.

The former president wrote: "Isn't it terrible that a Republican Congressman from Nebraska just got indicted for possibly telling some lies to investigators about campaign contributions, when half of the United States Congress lied about made up scams, and when Mark Zuckerberg, in my opinion a criminal, is allowed to spend $500 million and therefore able to change the course of a Presidential Election, and nothing happens to them."

The Post's article reported that Zuckerberg had spent $419 million on two nonprofits—the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR)—during the 2020 presidential election.

The report claimed the newspaper's analysis "demonstrates this money significantly increased Joe Biden's vote margin in key swing states."

In his Gab post on Tuesday, Trump went on to reiterate complaints about a number of people he's previously criticized, including former FBI Director James Comey and Democratic Representative Adam Schiff.

"They all lied having to do with Russia, Russia, Russia, because they knew it was a SCAM, and they all lied having to do with Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine, because they knew it was a SCAM—and they made up fairy tales about me knowing how badly it would hurt the U.S.A.—and nothing happens to them. Is there no justice in our Country?" he wrote.

Zuckerberg and Facebook have also faced criticism over the harvesting of more than 80 million users' information by data firm Cambridge Analytica amid concerns that the data may have been used to target U.S. voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election, which Trump won.

In March, 2018 then Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was captured on video by the U.K's Channel 4 saying the firm had done "all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting" for Trump's 2016 campaign. He was suspended following the release of the video and resigned in April 2018.

The Facebook CEO is now listed as a defendant in a complaint arising from the Cambridge Analytica scandal in case in the District of Columbia. The complaint alleges Zuckerberg "knowingly and actively participated in each decision that led to Cambridge Analytica's mass collection of Facebook user data, and Facebook's misrepresentations to users about how secure their data was."

A Facebook spokesperson called the allegations "meritless."

Trump has criticized Zuckerberg in the past, including after he was suspended from Facebook for two years following the deadly Capitol riot on January 6. The social media giant said it would asses if the former president was a "risk to public safety" at the end of two years.

In response, Trump said at the time that he would not invite Zuckerberg to dinner at the White House again.

"Next time I'm in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife," Trump said in a statement in June. "It will be all business!"

Facebook revealed in November 2019 that Zuckerberg had had a previously undisclosed dinner in October that year with Trump at the White House, along with Facebook board member and Trump donor Peter Thiel.

In a separate June statement on his suspension, Trump said: "They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win."

Donald Trump Attends a Rally
Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump has criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over his election spending. Brandon Bell/Getty Images