News & Politics

'I AM NOT SUICIDAL,' Says Man Who Exposed Hillary's Ties to Google

President Hillary Clinton, seen here performing her signature "I point, they die" gesture. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted out a study on Google bias from Ph.D. psychologist Robert Epstein. Epstein supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but after the Trump tweet, Clinton attacked his professional reputation. Epstein responded with a tweetstorm exposing Clinton’s ties to Google. At the suggestion of many conservatives online, the psychologist posted a statement in the unlikely (?) event he gets “suicided” by Hillary Clinton.

“Okay, this is sort of funny…. It’s been suggested that I remind people that I AM NOT SUICIDAL!!! I love my life, wife, 3 awesome sons, 2 awesome daughters, my research, etc. etc. Everyone got that???” Epstein tweeted.

Epstein laughed about the matter in an interview with PJ Media. “That guy suggested that I post that, get that on the record. I thought that was hysterically funny,” he said.

Yet concerns about threats to his life are not unwarranted. Epstein has dedicated his research to studying the effects of the search engine manipulation effect (SEME) and he has warned about Google’s power to sway elections without anyone noticing. Trump seized on a study the psychologist ran in 2017.

“Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!” the president tweeted.

In his tweetstorm, Epstein clarified a few things: his study did not claim Google directly “manipulated” the election, only that pro-Clinton bias in Google search results could account for millions of votes for Clinton. Trump was also wrong about the high-end number. Google bias “was enough to convince between 2.6 & 10.4 million undecided voters to vote for Hillary.”

Trump’s exaggerations aside, Epstein’s research really did show that Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin in 2016 could be explained by Google bias in her favor. Trump was correct to say that the research shows his “victory was even bigger than thought.”

Yet Clinton responded to Trump’s tweet, not by attacking the president but by attacking Epstein.

“The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted,” she tweeted.

This tweet stung Epstein. As a decades-long Clinton supporter, he took her attack personally. Worse, media outlets rushed to condemn him, believing the official line that his study had been debunked.

“I’m 66 years old. I spent a lifetime building a spotless reputation as a scientist,” Epstein told PJ Media. “My reputation is not just besmirched, it’s completely shattered — based on nothing, not actual acts or anything I did or failed to do.”

As for Clinton, he said, “She should have been attacking [Trump]. She was not attacking him, she was attacking me.” He said the words in her tweets are “etched in my brain permanently.” He lamented that “she’ll never apologize for what she did.”

As for her words, they echo Google’s talking points. Naturally, the company has long dismissed Epstein’s research as “debunked” when it has not been debunked. “There was obviously a phone call of some sort and she was given a couple of soundbites which she could use,” the psychologist told PJ Media. “How did my paper on SEME get into the National Academy of Sciences if there’s something wrong with my methodology or my samples?”

“[Hillary]: If my work has been ‘debunked,’ why was it included in a volume just published by [Oxford] U.? Why have I been invited to speak about it at prestigious venues worldwide: [Stanford] U., [Yale] Law School (where both you & Bill went), even our [U.S. Senate] (where you served)?” he asked.

Epstein decided to release dirt on Clinton — specifically highlighting her cushy relationship with Google.

“[Hillary] has long depended on [Google] for both money & votes. Her largest donor in 2016 was Alphabet/Google. Her Chief Technology Officer during the campaign was Stephanie Hannon, a former Google exec. And then there’s [Eric Schmidt], longtime head of Google – the guy in the pic,” he tweeted.

“A leaked email showed that in 2014 [Google]’s [Eric Schmidt] offered to run [Hillary]’s tech campaign (see pic). In 2015, Schmidt in fact funded The Groundwork, a highly secretive tech company, the sole purpose of which was to put Clinton into office,” Epstein added. “About 96% of 2016 campaign donations from [Google] employees went to [Hillary]. And [Elan Kriegel], Hillary’s Chief Analytics Officer, credits his 2012 tech team, informally supervised by [Eric Schmidt], for half of Obama’s win margin: nearly 2.5 million votes.”

The Google-Democrat alliance is far from over, however. Epstein noted that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) largest donor is Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and he claimed that her much-touted plan to “break up Big Tech” would actually make Google and Facebook executives rich without significantly weakening their power.

“Google has a lot riding on a Democratic victory, I’m sure a lot more than we know,” Epstein told PJ Media.

The psychologist’s analysis of the 2018 elections found that Google bias could easily account for the vote margin for the three Orange County congressional districts that went Democrat. His anonymous “field agents” recorded search engine bias that may have turned these red districts blue.

“Based on extremely modest assumptions, you could easily explain those win margins by the substantial bias in Google search results,” Epstein told PJ Media. “Easily — extremely modest assumptions. Google could have pushed far more votes than I said.”

Further modeling showed that “if that level of bias had been present in every race in the U.S. in that election,” it could have influenced 78.2 million votes, spread out over every race in the country. Every ballot had an average of 17 different items — the 78.2 million votes could have been swayed on each of those 17 different kinds of races. More than 122 million people voted in the election, so the 78.2 million swayed votes represents slightly less than 4 percent percent of the more than 2 billion votes on specific issues cast in the election.

That 5 percent can make the difference in all sorts of races, and Epstein emphasized that it is based on “extremely modest assumptions.” No wonder Google wants his research discredited.

More conspiracy-minded people might worry why the company has not arranged some “accident” to befall Epstein. He wrote a satirical article about this in 2014. Now that the psychologist has gone after Hillary Clinton, many people on Twitter have suggested his life may be in danger.

Many “replies” to his tweetstorm have focused on “warning me about staying alive.”

More ominously, Epstein recalled how a state attorney general warned there may be threats to his life.

“I was approached by the attorney general of one state and he told me without the hint of a smile on his face. He told me he thought I was going to perish soon in an accident. He said people die in accidents all the time. And he wasn’t kidding me,” the psychologist said.

Just in case, he sent out that tweet. “I AM NOT SUICIDAL” may be a joke, but there’s a hint of seriousness to it, all the same.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.