HC Wake-Up Call: Trump Claims Google 'Rigged' Searches, Company Selling 3-D Printed Gun Blueprints Despite Court Injunction & Second Manafort Trial Delayed

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Trump Claims Google “Rigged” Searches Against Him, But Google Denies It

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to accuse Google of prioritizing “fake news” in its search results, but the company has denied it.

Trump said the results are “rigged” against him and other conservatives, and also alleged that 96 percent “of results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media.” The president did not cite any sources for his claim, but it appears that Trump is referring to an article published over the weekend by conservative media company PJ Media that claimed “96 Percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump’ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets,” ABC News reports.

“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”

“Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed,” Trump added.

When asked about his tweets in an Oval Office meeting, Trump said Google is “treading on very, very troubled territory” and that the company needs to be careful.

“I think Google is really taking advantage of a lot of people. And I think that is a very serious thing and it is a very serious charge,” Trump said. “I think what Google and what others are doing, if you look at what is going on with Twitter and if you look at what’s going on in Facebook, they better be careful because you can’t do that to people. You can’t do it.”

A spokesperson for Google denied Trump’s allegations, and said that the search engine algorithm doesn’t include any consideration of politics.

“When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology.”

“We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment,” the spokesperson added.

Company Selling 3-D Printed Gun Blueprints Online Despite Court Injunction

The founder of a company that planned on distributing blueprints for a 3-D printed gun began selling those blueprints on Tuesday, despite a court injunction blocking him from distributing the blueprints due to public safety concerns.

According to ABC News, a federal judge in Seattle extended the injunction on Monday, blocking the nonprofit Defense Distributed from posting their blueprints online after a number of states and the District of Columbia said that making these plastic weapons available would cause a public safety issue.

In District Judge Robert Lasnik’s decision on Monday, he wrote that the Arms Export Control Act would have prohibited the blueprints from being posted online, “but they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States.”

via Eric Gay/AP

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, said the judge's decision was a “kneecapping and subversion” of his First Amendment rights, which, according to the ruling, were outweighed by the states’ concern about public safety.

Wilson told reporters on Tuesday that while the injunction does not allow him to place the plans online, he is still able to sell the plans and distribute them through email or on a USB drive via mail.

The company began selling the blueprints online on Tuesday morning, saying that thousands of users have already ordered the files, ABC News reports. Wilson added that the company is only selling plans to people in the United States at this time.

“Anyone who wants these files is going to get them,” Wilson told reporters. “I'm going to sell them to them, I'm going to ship them. That began this morning. That will never be interrupted.”

“The free exchange of these ideas will never be interrupted and now people can participate on my website. It's not just me selling these files. I'm inviting the public to share their files,” Wilson added.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson called on the federal government to intervene on Monday. Washington was one of the states that sued to block the blueprints from being posted online.

“Because of our lawsuit, it is once again illegal to post downloadable gun files to the internet,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I trust the federal government will hold Cody Wilson, a self-described ‘crypto-anarchist,’ accountable to that law. If they don't, President Trump will be responsible for anyone who is hurt or killed as a result of these weapons.”

At Defense’s Request, Second Manafort Trial Has Been Postponed

A federal judge in Washington D.C. has postponed former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s second trial by a week at the request of the Manafort’s defense team to allow for more time to prepare for a second case brought forward by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russia investigation.

via Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

At a hearing on Tuesday morning, Judge Amy Berman Jackson announced that opening arguments will now begin on September 24, ABC News reports. Jury selection, however, is still expected to take place on September 17.

Jackson, who will be presiding over the trial in Washington D.C., cited the short turnaround time from the last trial and the publicity from that trial as the reasons for granting the extra time.

The defense team also suggested a possible change of venue as a result of pre-trial publicity in the nation’s capital, but Jackson expressed skepticism at the proposal.

Tuesday’s hearing was the first time that Manafort’s attorney and the special counsel prosecutors have met since the conclusion of Manafort’s first trial, where he was found guilty on eight counts of tax and bank fraud. Sentencing for that conviction is expected to take place on December 12.

In his second trial, Manafort faces charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and foreign lobbying violations.

What to look out for…

New information is out on Disney’s upcoming streaming service. I know I’ll definitely be signing up for it!