Dinesh D'Souza film '2000 Mules' Falsely Implies Data Solved A Murder Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza's new film "2,000 Mules" alleges massive voter fraud in the 2020 election, but NPR has found the filmmakers made multiple misleading and false claims.

A pro-Trump film suggests its data are so accurate, it solved a murder. That's false

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Former President Donald Trump continues to lie about the 2020 election and claim there is evidence of widespread voter fraud. He's now promoting a film on that topic called "2000 Mules," directed by the right-wing commentator Dinesh D'Souza. Now, D'Souza has suggested that the data analysis featured in this film is so airtight that it helps solve the murder of an 8-year-old girl. NPR has found that claim is not true. And it is not the only false or misleading claim from the filmmakers. NPR investigative correspondent Tom Dreisbach looked into this, and he joins us this morning. Hey, Tom.

TOM DREISBACH, BYLINE: Hey. Good morning.

MARTIN: So this movie, called "2000 Mules" - first off, what is it about, exactly?

DREISBACH: Yeah. So Dinesh D'Souza teamed up with a conservative and controversial election group called True the Vote. True the Vote claims they obtained a massive trove of cellphone device data which can track people's movements. Now, this is the kind of data usually used for targeted advertising to the vote. Claims that the data show a voter fraud conspiracy among left-wing groups, so-called ballot traffickers who are supposedly stuffing drop boxes. Fact-checkers have said the film just does not prove that at all. And there are a lot of holes in the film's analysis. True the Vote and D'Souza dispute that.

MARTIN: So where does this claim about a murder investigation come in?

DREISBACH: Yeah. In one scene in this movie, True the Vote claims that they wanted to show just how accurate their analysis is by looking at a murder. They say they examined the killing of Secoriea Turner, an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Atlanta in 2020. So they bought device location data from the time and place of the shooting and claimed they actually identified devices that could be the shooters'. So here's that scene, where Gregg Phillips of True the Vote is explaining this all to Dinesh D'Souza.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "2000 MULES")

GREGG PHILLIPS: Each of these devices has a unique device ID. And we turned the bulk of this information over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

DINESH D'SOUZA: Now, I read, they've arrested two suspects.

PHILLIPS: They have.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Two suspected gang members will appear in court this morning on charges that include the shooting death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner.

DREISBACH: Now, supporters of the film have really run with this idea. Here's former President Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LIZ HARRINGTON: I mean, if you go watch "2000 Mules," they solved a murder of a young, little girl in Atlanta. I mean, they are heroes.

MARTIN: So you checked that out. And what did you find?

DREISBACH: We confirm that True the Vote played no role in those arrests at all, zero. State and local police led this investigation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation told me they never received any information from True the Vote related to this case. An attorney for Secoriea Turner's family told me they had never heard of this data analysis or True the Vote. And when I went to True the Vote myself to ask about this, they said they actually provided this information to the FBI in October 2021. And that was two months after prosecutors had already announced the indictments for murder. Now, I also reached out to Dinesh D'Souza for comment, and he did not respond.

MARTIN: And there are other claims that you looked into, right?

DREISBACH: Yeah. D'Souza's also claimed that true the vote found a bunch of these supposed ballot traffickers were antifa rioters by supposedly cross-referencing their data with a group that monitors devices at violent protests. The group they cite told me that's impossible. They don't monitor cellphones at all. Gregg Phillips of True the Vote separately has also claimed that he did some of the work on this analysis at a high-powered computing center at Mississippi State University. The university - that's false, said Phillips leased space in a separate building near the computing center. He once took a tour of the supercomputers, but he did not work in the computing center. True the Vote acknowledged to me that they got the building wrong.

MARTIN: NPR investigative correspondent Tom Dreisbach. Tom, thanks for bringing us this reporting. We appreciate it.

DREISBACH: Thanks, Rachel.

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