On Nov. 11, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, posted a tweet celebrating the fact that The Associated Press (AP) had projected her father would win Alaska in the presidential election.
Ivanka Trump received criticism for this post because the AP had also called the overall national election for her father’s political rival, President-elect Joe Biden, which Trump family members have disputed.
Trump and his supporters have so far refused to formally acknowledge the reality of their electoral loss. They have spread a conspiracy theory, alleging without evidence that Democrats mounted a massive-scale voting fraud operation. They have filed unsuccessful legal challenges seeking to overturn election results in states Biden carried, and they have brought forth witnesses alleging voter fraud who have turned out to be unreliable.
The news media calling presidential races is a long-standing tradition that has been in place since the 1800s. The AP first called a race in 1848 for Zachary Taylor.
The AP also called the 2016 election for Trump:
BREAKING: Donald Trump is elected president of the United States. pic.twitter.com/yJpgfsAbc6
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 9, 2016
But after the AP called the 2020 race for Biden, Trump complained about it:
Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be? We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2020
So when Ivanka Trump retweeted the AP’s announcement that her father was projected to win Alaska and its three electoral college votes with a celebratory message, some called it hypocritical.
“Ivanka trusts AP calling Alaska but not AP calling … the presidency,” observed Business Insider columnist Manny Fidel, with New York Times national politics reporter Astead Herndon tweeting a rhetorical question, “so do we trust [AP] or no.”