Report: Pro-Trumpers Tried To Jam The Results Line For Iowa's Democratic Caucus
Supporters of President Donald Trump reportedly tried to “clog the lines” for results reporting during Iowa’s Democratic caucus on Monday evening, sharing the phone number on the infamous message board 4chan.
Axios reported that the results-tallying app designed specifically for the event did operate as planned, leading many precincts to report via telephone. And while the lines were already on overload, Trump supporters apparently were deliberately adding to the mess.
One Democratic official in Iowa told Bloomberg News that the influx of calls included “supporters of President Trump who called to express their displeasure with the Democratic Party.”
According to NBC News, one 4chan user alerted others to the overloaded phone lines, writing: "They have to call in the results now. Very long hold times being reported. Phone line being clogged.”
Another responded: "Uh oh how unfortunate it would be for a bunch of mischief makers to start clogging the lines.”
Iowa state auditor Rob Sand said it became apparent that the influx of calls was the work of internet trolls, telling NBC News, “A lot of calls came in at a certain point where it was clear somebody had published the hotline number somewhere.”
But he added that it was not terribly difficult to discern malicious calls: “If I picked up the phone and it was clear after the first handful of words that someone was not calling to report the results, I just hung up.”
Mandy McClure, communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party, confirmed to NBC News that Trump supporters had called into the hotline but added that they had no meaningful effect on results reporting.
“The unexplained, and at times hostile, calls contributed to the delay in the Iowa Democratic Party’s collection of results, but in no way affected the integrity of information gathered or the accuracy of data sets reported,” McClure told the news outlet in a statement.