Trump Says He’s Watching Google ‘Closely’ Ahead of Election

August 6, 2019, 8:14 PM UTC

U.S. President Donald Trump once again accused Alphabet Inc.’s Google of amplifying negative news stories about him, this time citing an ex-employee who claims he was fired for conservative bias.

“All very illegal. We are watching Google very closely!” Trump said in a series of tweets Tuesday, adding he’d met with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, though didn’t say when. Trump tweeted a pair of clips from the segments late Monday, and continued to tweet about the subject Tuesday morning.

The Twitter storm is an indication that the president continue to try to rev up his base with charges of tech company bias as the 2020 election approaches.

Trump said he’d watched comments by Kevin Cernekee in a Fox News interview, where the former Google employee alleged that conservatives were harassed at the company. Cernekee said Google wants Trump to lose the 2020 election, and that Google executives wept after Trump’s victory and “vowed that it would never happen again.” Cernekee told Fox he’s in a legal fight with the search engine giant after he was fired.

Google spokeswoman Jennifer Kaiser said Cernekee’s comments “are absolutely false.”

“We go to great lengths to build our products and enforce our policies in ways that don’t take political leanings into account,” Kaiser said.

Trump also cited comments to Fox Business by author Peter Schweizer, who alleged Google suppressed negative stories about Hillary Clinton.

Pichai “was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election and that they are NOT planning to illegally subvert the 2020 Election despite all that has been said to the contrary,” Trump said in a pair of Tuesday tweets.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, including about when the Pichai meeting that Trump referred to occurred.

Trump has long harbored a suspicion of anti-conservative bias by technology giants, and has mused about whether major Internet platforms should be broken apart. On Monday, he separately pledged to work with social media companies to identify radicalized people before mass shootings can take place.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—Why the U.S. labeled China a currency manipulator

—How Trump’s plan to import Canadian drugs would work

What you need to know about 8chan, the controversial site tied to the El Paso shooting

—After the El Paso shooting, a call for stronger protections for Mexicans in America

—Listen to our audio briefing, Fortune 500 Daily

Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.

Read More

Biden AdministrationUkraine InvasionInflationEnergyCybersecurity