Fox, Newsmax shoot down their own aired claims on election

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FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2020, file photo Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., speaks as President Donald Trump and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., listen at a campaign rally at Valdosta Regional Airport, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Valdosta, Ga. Many Republican voters in Georgia are angry; certain that widespread voter fraud claims of which are baseless cost President Donald Trump the election. Most Republican voters in the state interviewed said they were prepared to put their skepticism aside to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in their races against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

NEW YORK – Two election technology companies whose names have come up in President Donald Trump's false charges of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election are fighting back, prompting unusual public statements from Fox News and Newsmax.

The statements, over the weekend and on Monday, came after the companies Smartmatic and Dominion raised the prospect of legal action for reporting what they said was false information about them.

Both companies were referenced in the campaign's suggestion that vote counts in swing states were manipulated to the advantage of President-elect Joe Biden. The companies deny several statements made about them, and there is no evidence any voting system switched or deleted votes in the 2020 election.

A nearly two-minute pre-taped segment was aired over the weekend on a Fox Business Network program hosted by Lou Dobbs and Fox News Channel shows with Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.

That came days after Smartmatic sent a letter threatening legal action to Fox and two other networks popular with Trump supporters, Newsmax and One America News Network.

The two-minute Fox segments aired in the form of a question-and-answer session between an offscreen voice and Eddie Perez, a voting technology expert at the nonpartisan Open Source Election Technology Institute.

“I have not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change or alter anything related to vote tabulations,” Perez said.

The company says its only work that involved the 2020 U.S. election came in Los Angeles. Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani has falsely claimed that Smartmatic was founded in Venezuela by former dictator Hugo Chavez for the goal of fixing elections. Smartmatic was started in Florida in 2000. Its founder is Venezuelan, but the company said Chavez was never involved, and its last work in Venezuela came in 2017 when its software found the government had reported false turnout numbers.