Trump accuses Google of bias

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google and other U.S. tech companies of rigging search results about him “so that almost all stories & news is BAD.” He offered no evidence of bias, but a top adviser said the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google should face federal regulation.

Google pushed back sharply, saying “we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

The president’s tweets echoed his familiar attacks on the news media — and a conservative talking point that California-based tech companies run by CEOs with liberal leanings don’t give equal weight to opposing political viewpoints.

The president, jumped onto Twitter before dawn Tuesday to rehash his recent complaints about alleged suppression of conservative voices and positive news about him.

He followed that up with vague threats in Oval Office comments.

Trump claimed that “we have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. … So I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they’re really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.”

Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, told reporters later that the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google searches should be subject to some government regulation.

In his tweets, Trump said — without offering evidence — that “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?” He added, again with no evidence, that “96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”

Google, based in Mountain View, California, said its aim is to make sure its search engine users quickly get the most relevant answers.

“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” the company said in a statement. “We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Trump and some supporters have long accused Silicon Valley companies of being biased against them. While some company executives may lean liberal, they have long asserted that their products are without political bias.

Trump began complaining about the issue earlier this month as social media companies moved to ban right-wing “Infowars” conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms. The president also argues regularly that the news media avoid writing positive stories about him and his administration.

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