Antonio Mugica, the founder and CEO of voting-software company Smartmatic, has said that the conspiracy theories about his company shared by President Donald Trump and his allies are damaging his business.
He told The New York Times that foreign politicians are calling him concerned that Trump’s election-fraud claims could be used to undermine faith in the integrity of their elections.
Mugica said Smartmatic is considering launching lawsuits against Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN for airing groundless conspiracy theories about his company.
The founder and CEO of Smartmatic, a voting-software company, has said that countries across the world are worried that conspiracy theories spread by President Donald Trump and his allies could be used to undermine their own elections.
In an interview with The New York Times, Antonio Mugica said that he was fielding calls from international politicians and governments that use his software, who were worried that Trump’s attacks could – as The Times put it – “seep into their politics and turn a Smartmatic contract into a liability.”
Mugica added that he was considering filing lawsuits against conservative outlets including Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN, which have aired groundless claims by the president’s allies that Smartmatic was used as part of a vast plot to subvert the US election and steal victory from Trump.
Mugica also described the damage the allegations were having on his business, saying: “This potentially could destroy it all.”
At the heart of Trump’s bid to overturn the 2020 election results is the claim that the machines used to register votes across the US, made by Dominion Voting Systems, were compromised because of their use of Smartmatic software. Both companies have denied that they work together.
Allies and attorneys for the president have claimed – while producing no convincing evidence – that Smartmatic is involved in a plot with socialists in Venezuela and the antifa movement, and switched votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
The Electoral College officially gave Biden more than 270 electoral votes last week, confirming his victory over Trump.
Dominion has threatened to sue Sidney Powell, a former Trump campaign attorney and conspiracy theorist, over the claims.
Last week, Smartmatic sent a legal threat demanding that Fox News retract groundless claims made about its software on the network. In response, Fox News created and aired a segment dedicated to debunking various inaccuracies and false statements made by pro-Trump network hosts and guests about the election.
But those groundless claims have already been echoed across conservative media outlets and, according to a December 10 Quinnipiac poll, 77% of Republicans now believe that the 2020 election was tainted by fraud.
Though conspiracy theorists have largely linked Smartmatic and Dominion to their election-fraud claims, the two companies are not connected to each other. In fact, they are competitors.
Mugica, who is Venezuelan, has no links to the socialist government of Venezuela, and his company is registered in the UK, with its US headquarters in Florida, according to Reuters.
Smartmatic provides election software for governments in Europe and South America, according to its website.
The Venezuelan government hired Smartmatic to provide software for its elections in 2017, but the company later accused the government of manipulating election data.
Smartmatic broadly withdrew from the US market in 2007, selling its stake in the US voting systems company Sequoia, after controversy about Smartmatic’s links to a firm the Venezuelan government had invested in.
Its software was only in one election the US in 2020, in a Las Vegas county, Mugica told The Times.
In the interview, Mugica was asked if he would settle for an apology from the networks.
“Is the apology going to reverse the false belief of tens of millions of people who believe in these lies?” he asked. “Then I could be satisfied.”
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