Tag Archives: fact

Fact check: Evidence refutes claims of an Italian conspiracy to interfere in US elections (known as #ItalyGate) | Instant News

On January 6, 2021, the day President Donald Trump’s supporters gathered in Washington, DC to protest against Congress’s certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election and finally stormed the US Capitol, posts began to circulate widely on social media claiming that an employee of an Italian security company was interfering in election to secure Joe Biden’s victory. Shared online with the hashtags #ItalyDidIt and #ItalyGate, the claims are part of a conspiracy theory intended to sow doubt in the US electoral system and support allegations by Trump and his allies that the election was rigged. This supposed evidence, analyzed by Reuters, contradicts the main claims presented in this theory.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

See an example of the post that made the claim here , here and here .


This theory emerged when an organization called Nations in Action published a press release on January 6 under the title “Senior IT Specialist in Global Defense Contractors Testifying in Italian Federal Court; He and Others Switch Voices Across America in the US Presidential Race. ”here).

According to its website, Nations in Action is based in Sarasota, Florida and was founded in 2017 “to tackle the collapse of civil society with families struggling to defend beliefs, values ​​and virtues” (Nationsinaction.org/#about-us). Nations in Action did not respond to a Reuters request for comment or an explanation of their “evidence” for this claim. If so, this article will be updated accordingly.

The press release, which claims to be from Rome, Italy on January 5, alleges that an employee of the Italian defense, security and aerospace firm Leonardo SpA “made a shocking statement detailing his role in the most complex criminal act affecting US elections.” He named Arturo D’Elia as an employee and stated that he “outlined a proven successful scheme using Leonardo’s computer systems and military satellites located in Pescara, Italy” to interfere in the US election for Joe Biden.

The press release quoted the group’s leader Maria Strollo Zack as saying, “Make no mistake, this is a coup that we will end in the name of justice and free and fair elections.”

That day, several web sites, such as “Shock Yes!” (here), “En Volve” (here) and “No Q Report” (here) began distributing press releases, which soon migrated to Facebook. In an editor’s note at the top of the article, “No Q Report” states, “We have not independently verified but felt the need to be put there considering the late hour in this voting cycle.”


On 22 December 2020, Reuters published an exclusive report here details a data theft investigation at Leonardo that took place between 2015 and 2017.

Italian police said on December 5, 2020 that they had arrested Arturo D’Elia and Antonio Rossi, who both worked at Leonardo, for their alleged roles in hacking 94 computers, 33 of which were located at the group’s factory in Pomigliano, a municipality in Naples. The hack took place years before the 2020 US elections (between 2015 and 2017).

The 108-page arrest warrant examined by Reuters reporters showed that the hack appeared to target details of the program for Europe’s largest unmanned fighter jet and aircraft used by the military and police. There is no mention of US elections anywhere in the document. (In 108 pages, the judge cited various potential reasons behind the 2015-2017 hack that D’Elia was investigating: “the use of data for industrial and commercial purposes, extortion and military espionage activities or mere intent to damage the company’s image by exposing … vulnerability organization and its IT. “)

Reuters spoke by phone with D’Elia’s attorney Nicola Naponiello, who previously provided comments to Reuters for the Dec. 22 report on Leonardo’s investigation. Naponiello said that when his client was questioned by Napoli prosecutors on January 12, he denied being involved in any plans to change the outcome of the US election. According to Naponiello, who assisted his client during the interrogation, D’Elia called his alleged involvement in the plot against Trump “pure fantasy”.

Reuters journalists also spoke to a Naples police officer involved in D’Elia’s arrest who said the Napoli prosecutor was now investigating allegations of D’Elia’s interference in the US election but thought the conspiracy theory was likely baseless. The officer also told Reuters that during a police check in December, D’Elia made no mention of a plot involving Trump.

Additionally, a Leonardo spokesperson told Reuters by telephone that D’Elia, a former consultant for the company, had not worked for Leonardo since 2017.


Some social media posts (here , here) including an alleged affidavit carrying the signature “Alfio D’Urso” and alleging that D’Elia “has been indicted by the Naples public prosecutor for technology / data manipulation and virus implantation on Leonardo SpA’s main computer” in order “to divert data from the election. The US dated November 3, 2020 from a significant margin of victory for Donald Trump to Joe Biden in a number of states where Joe Biden lost the total vote. “

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the authenticity of the documents.

Naponiello, lawyer for Arturo D’Elia, told Reuters that neither he nor D’Elia had heard of Alfio D’Urso.

A person named “Alfio D’Urso” is registered in the Italian national bar database (here). Reuters was unable to reach D’Urso for further details.

Napoli police officers said prosecutors would ask D’Urso, whose name was not identified on the 108-page arrest warrant for D’Elia, about the alleged affidavit when they found him (his current location is unknown, according to officers).


Some social media posts ( here , here ) share audio recording (vocaroo.com/1e976QE4oDoy) from a December 2020 conference call between Nations in Action chair Maria Strollo Zack and other supporters of President Trump.

At the start of the phone call, Zack said the US election results were “arranged at the Rome embassy” by a 20-year-old foreign service official who he claims was “coordinating with a general Claudio Graziano who was on Leonardo’s board” to use the company’s “military satellite uplink” to load the software and transfer it to change the vote from Trump to Biden. “

Reviewed by Reuters, the 108-page arrest warrant for D’Elia over the Leonardo hack does not name the suspected foreign service officer given on the tape, or Claudio Graziano, who is actually a current Italian Army officer. served as chief of general staff for Italian Defense (here). Zack’s claim that Graziano is on Leonardo’s board of directors is bogus, according to the company’s webpage for the board of directors (here).


In mid-November, the Reuters Fact Checker team debunked similar bogus social media claims about electoral interference outside Europe. The post claims the US military has raided the offices of electronic voting company Scytl in Germany to confiscate their servers for evidence of manipulation in the 2020 US elections (here). Scytl confirmed that they were never raided by US troops and had no offices in Germany. Several #ItalyGate posts refer to this false theory, which says that data was transferred from “Rome to Frankfurt”.

On November 12, Chris Krebs, who is working to protect the 2020 election from hackers as head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), called the 2020 vote “the safest in American history” (here). Five days later, President Trump fired Krebs, a Republican for life, in a message on Twitter, accusing him of making “grossly inaccurate” statements asserting that the November 3 election was safe and rejecting claims of fraud (here).

On December 1, Attorney General William Barr US Attorney General William Barr said that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election, even as President Trump continues to strive to reverse his defeat (here). Two weeks later, Barr announced his retirement from the Trump administration (here).

USA Today also rejects the #ItalyGate theory, here .


Wrong. There is no valid evidence that an employee of the Italian defense company Leonardo SpA interfered in the 2020 US presidential election.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking workhere.


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Nawaz revealed the fact, Imran became the giver of approval: Siraj | Instant News

ISLAMABAD: Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq is demanding the creation of a ‘Truth Commission and Reconciliation Commission’ on the latest statements of Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Speaking in the Senate on Monday, Siraj said the former prime minister had disclosed many facts while the current prime minister had acknowledged this by becoming an approver in the functions of the Convention Center.

Siraj says there is no difference between what the former prime minister and the incumbent say. He demanded the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the matter.


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The images used in the media are old but the PM is in Nathiagali | Instant News

ISLAMABAD: Many people on social media spend the second day of Eid al-Fitr discussing that where Prime Minister Imran Khan celebrates Eid. A news item that runs on a TV channel website tries to solve the puzzle. “Prime Minister [Imran Khan] photographed while walking on Nathiagali Monday morning. He spent the Idul Fitri holiday with his family there, “read a tweet on his website. Hyperlinks from the story are also attached.

Tweets from PM’s focal person on social media take the debate in another direction that makes many people believe that the story mentioned above is fake news. “These are very old photos [Nathiagali]. I was surprised to see how the media group [don’t] even checking basic facts before posting any news, “Dr. tweet Arsalan Khalid, focal person. Reading this tweet shows that not only is the picture old; reports that claim the presence of the PM in Nathiagali are also wrong. At least, this is how it is interpreted by readers including editors of websites that are attacked by trolls.

Another Twitter handle sounds sympathetic to the government adding, “It would be appreciated if this could be resolved with an apology from [TV website] to spread misinformation because references to original photos from May 2017 have been shared, “tweeted Imran Ghazali. Submitting this criticism, the website runs clarification and removes the story. This movement despite providing livestock feed that is urgently needed by the government’s cyber forces on Twitter, the news refused to surrender.

The video appears one after another further suggesting the presence of PM at the resort. News spoke with local residents who said that they had been locked up in their homes because of the VVIP movement. They say the tourism business has been closed because of the locking which is driven by the corona and no tourists are allowed in the area. The news then spoke to the information minister to reconfirm and he did. He even checked again before confirming this. It is further known that the pro-government channel reported Saturday night that the PM will spend the Idul Fitri holiday with his family in Nathiagali. The news also spoke to Dr. Arsalan. He said he only showed that the photo was old, he did not say the PM was not in Nathia Gali. Instead, he said he did not know where the PM was. When asked that his tweet was misinterpreted because of its misleading content, he repeated his position that he did not dispute or confirm that the PM was in Nathiagali.

It seems that the episode is simple, it has two lessons for journalists. One, they have to check the image they want to use. One way to do this is by directly approaching the person in the picture or talking to someone who is in a position to comment. But it is not a very easy fact because the person concerned might try to hide the fact. An alternative choice is to use a search engine to reverse images. It will be known when the picture first appears on the internet. The Russian search engine, Yandex, was the most recommended followed by Bing from Microsoft and then Google’s reverse image search.

Second, rejection must be read and interpreted carefully. It often happens that facts are selectively shared to mislead readers. In the case in question, simply clarifying the fact that an old photo is used as if it were a new photo, does not necessarily mean that the story is completely wrong. The PM spokesman rather than being defensive can also add that the PM in almost 21 months hardly takes personal breaks and these are the first days he tries to enjoy with his family for a long time. A senior source at PM House revealed that even during this time he kept calling in to follow up in preparation for the post-Idul Fitri schedule.


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Facial Masks Become Forms of Expression – NBC4 Washington | Instant News


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Pritzker Talksuits Lawsuit Stay at Home Orders on ‘TODAY’ – NBC Chicago | Instant News

Governor JB Pritzker said on Tuesday that he was told that several people appeared to be laughing when an Illinois legal representative said in court that revoking an order to stay in the state would result in more deaths from coronavirus, calling the lawsuit itself “very irresponsible.”

Pritzker appeared on “TODAY” to discuss the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and the judge’s ruling on Monday that gave state representatives a temporary restraining order that freed lawmakers from permanent orders at the Illinois home.

State Representative Darren Bailey, a Republican from Xenia, Illinois, filed a lawsuit last week claiming Pritzker exceeded his authority and violated the civil rights of citizens. Pritzker on Thursday extended home stay orders to May 30, with more than 45,000 cases of corona virus and nearly 2,000 deaths across the state on Monday.

“First of all, the lawsuit itself is very irresponsible,” Pritzker said on Tuesday, “TODAY.” “This state representative wants to get celebrity for himself. He takes him to the local court, a local elected judge and gets a verdict that I think he knows will enter the local courtroom.”

“There were 90 people, I said, who were in the courtroom,” he continued. “Some of these people, all of whom seem to be related to the country’s representatives, they even seem to laugh when our attorney general’s representative talks about the fact that people will die if we take up the order to stay in this house. It’s vile, it’s disgusting frankly But we immediately begged for this. “

“This only applies to this one person, the state representative who filed the lawsuit, so we believe we will be able to cancel it but that is very irresponsible and sends the wrong message,” added Pritzker.

“We have only just begun to overcome our challenges with regard to COVID-19. We are reaching a peak time period; I hope we will be able to move to the other side of it in the state of Illinois but it does not happen if you remove all restrictions and everyone runs their business. The projection is that thousands and thousands of people will die and tens of thousands of people will get sick if we remove homes from home. [order] now.”

A judge has ruled against Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, issued a restraining order for extension of stay orders in the state of the state, putting plans in all states in jeopardy. Mary Ann Ahern NBC 5 reports.

Another trial in this case is scheduled for next week.

Also on “TODAY,” Pritzker said he had spoken with the White House about the need for supplies for corona virus testing, saying officials were committed to sending the country around 20,000 test swabs per day. He also reiterated his support for the gradual reopening of the state based on the recommendation of the federal government to begin reopening gradually after 14 days of a decrease in the number of hospitalizations for the deadly virus.

“At the moment, we still need to be hospitalized so this is not the time for us to remove the restrictions,” Pritzker said.


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