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How lies about election fraud made their way to the center of American politics

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A Trump rally at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, MI. October 12, 2021.
Jake May /MLive Media Group
Flint Journal
A Trump rally at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, MI. October 12, 2021.

More than a year after President Biden's inauguration, the verifiably false "Big Lie" that the election was stolen remains a defining issue for Trump supporters and the Republican Party.

Biden outperformed Trump in both the Electoral College and popularvotes and his win was reaffirmed by the courts, but according to a 2021 CNN poll, 36% of all respondents and 78% of Republicans did not believe Biden's win was legitimate.

Since the 2020 election, Republican-led states including Texas have passed new laws that make it harder to vote.

Why do so many people still think the election was rigged? What and who is fueling the "Big Lie" conspiracy? What are the implications for democracy and future elections?

A new investigative film traces sources of misinformation about the 2020 election, and shines a light on those responsible for inciting and perpetuating the ongoing crisis of U.S. democratic legitimacy.

FRONTLINE's "Plot to Overturn the Election" premieres Tuesday, March 29, at 9 p.m. Central on PBS stations and will be available to stream on PBS.org/frontline, YouTube and in the PBS Video App.


  • A.C. Thompson, FRONTLINE correspondent and senior reporter for ProPublica
  • Samuel Black, Emmy award-winning filmmaker and director of "Plot to Overturn the Election"

"The Source" is a live call-in program on air Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Central.

Leave a message before the program at 210-615-8982. During the live show, call or text 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Monday, March 28.

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