Trump cites the 'best pollster in Britain' in baseless claims that Biden stole the election, but that pollster is accused of lying about having a PhD

  • President Donald Trump has not yet conceded his loss in the 2020 presidential election. 
  • Instead, he has taken to Twitter to call the results illegitimate, using a pollster who is accused of lying about his academic history to bolster his argument. 
  • The pollster Trump referenced in his tweet is Patrick Basham, whom sociology scholars have accused of faking his academic credentials. 
  • "We have found no published source claiming Basham has a PhD from any other university," scholars wrote of Basham in 2008.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In an attempt to defend his assertion that the 2020 election results are not legitimate, President Donald Trump on Sunday cited a pollster who is accused of lying about his academic history. 

Joe Biden, Trump's Democratic opponent in the race, surpassed 270 electoral votes by flipping swing state Pennsylvania Friday morning, paving the way forward for a Biden-Harris administration. Business Insider, along with Vox and Decision Desk HQ, called the victory for Biden on Friday. Over the weekend, multiple news outlets also declared Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has so far refused to concede or acknowledge the results. The Biden campaign said Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union" that neither Trump nor any White House official has yet to reach out.

But Trump has tweeted out claims that the election results are not official. 

"The simple fact is this election is far from over," Trump said in a statement disseminated to news outlets Saturday. 

"Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested contests headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor," the statement continued. 

On Sunday morning, Trump doubled down and brought in what he seemed to believe were expert voices to support his assertion. 

"We believe these people are thieves. The big city machines are corrupt. This was a stolen election," Trump wrote in a tweet citing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"Best pollster in Britain wrote this morning that this clearly was a stolen election, that it's impossible to imagine that Biden outran Obama in some of these states. Where it mattered, they stole what they had to steal," the tweet continued. 

Twitter slapped a warning label on the post, calling Trump's election fraud claim "disputed."

The pollster Trump referenced in his tweet is Patrick Basham, who over the weekend wrote of "a mountain of evidence, direct and circumstantial, of widespread ballot fraud."

Basham is the founding director of the Democracy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy think tank that predicted Trump would win by a landslide. Basham is also someone scholars have accused of faking having received his PhD, which was first reported by the Daily Beast.

Scholars writing in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal in 2008 said there is no record of Basham having earned his doctorate as he claimed.

"In two BMJ blog postings Basham was referred to as 'Dr. Basham'. Basham has claimed on a number of occasions to have a doctorate. For example in 2008: 'Mr Basham earned his BA, MA, and PhD. degrees in political science from Carleton University, the University of Houston, and Cambridge University, respectively'. Today his LinkedIn page lists a 'PhD in Political Economy from Cambridge University' under qualifications," the post reads. "We have found no published source claiming Basham has a PhD from any other university."

The Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment. The Biden campaign declined to comment.

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