As electors of the gathered on December 14 2020 in order to finalize the incoming Joe Biden administration, sitting U.S. President Donald Trump continued advancing baseless claims that his decisive loss in the 2020 election was fraudulent, claiming that a “fake ‘water main break'” in Georgia provided cover for the state to “steal the Rigged Election”:
Trump’s tweet bore a “This claim about election fraud is disputed” flag added by Twitter beneath this tweet (as with so many other claims by Trump):
“Why did the Swing States stop counting in the middle of the night?” @MariaBartiromo Because they waited to find out how many ballots they had to produce in order to steal the Rigged Election. They were so far behind that they needed time, & a fake “water main break”, to recover!
Trump’s tweet was shared to sites like TheDonald.win, where his fans elaborated on the claim:
Every single “news” agency reported that water main break, yet there is ZERO evidence that such occurred and plenty of evidence that it was a fictitious, bullshit excuse to commit election fraud without conservatives to watch over.
Facts matter. The water pipe leak above the counting area at State Farm Arena occurred early in the morning on election day, not 17 hours later when the overnight counting continued, as the president falsely claims. How do I know? WE WERE THERE.
We reported exactly what happened at 6:07am and then later that night. Two separate events. We have the receipts. This wasn’t an invented excuse in the middle of the night. It’s all time-stamped. Stop conflating two separate events. We’re tired of correcting you.
Keefe included a screenshot of of what he described as “the receipts,” a time and date-stamped tweet:
At 7:56 PM Eastern on November 3 2020, WXIA reporter Joe Henke discussed the water main break in question. Henke said that the break delayed work preparing to count ballots by four hours (later updated to two hours.) Keefe referenced the water main break again on December 4 2020, when the incident was swept into unrelated false rumors about ballot counting:
A third Atlanta reporter, Chenue Her, stated that the water main break occurred on the morning of November 3 2020 — not in the middle of the night:
A December 14 2020 tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that poll workers in Georgia stopped “counting in the middle of the night,” and “waited to find out how many ballots they had to produce in order to steal the Rigged Election,” but “were so far behind that they needed time” and staged “a fake ‘water main break'” to proceed with plans to rig the election. Atlanta-area reporters responded to the tweet, providing screenshots to prove that the water main break took place on the morning of November 3 2020, not in the middle of the night, making Trump’s claims not just disputed, but utterly baseless.