Trump, without evidence, accuses Google of 'very illegal' action ahead of election

WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday stepped up his accusations against Google, claiming without offering evidence that the technology company worked to subvert his 2016 presidential campaign and warning he was watching it "very closely" ahead of the 2020 election.

Trump, in a series of early posts on Twitter, also slammed Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai, and again raised questions about the search engine's work with China, despite his administration's earlier comments that any such work was limited.

Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2020, has repeatedly slammed Google and a host of other technology companies, echoing conservative critics' claims of unfair treatment and raising the specter of regulation.

Lawmakers have also raised the possibility of regulating the industry, in part over security and misinformation concerns following the 2016 election, and findings of Russian interference in that vote that relied heavily on leveraging technology and social media.

Trump on Tuesday accused Google of "very illegal" acts but offered no evidence, and no formal charges have been announced.

Related: Donald Trump steps into North Korea 

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Donald Trump steps into North Korea
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Donald Trump steps into North Korea
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un stand on North Korean soil while walking to South Korea in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un stands with US President Donald Trump north of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump walk together south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, after Trump briefly stepped over to the northern side, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shake hands before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) and US President Donald Trump meet on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump waits at the line of demarcation for North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un talk before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un talk before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un stand on North Korean soil while walking to South Korea in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump leaves Freedom House before walking to the line of demarcation to meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A member of North Korean security stands guard near the line of demarcation before US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un meet in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Representatives for the White House did not be immediately respond to a request for comment on what steps the administration was taking towards the company.

Representatives for Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc , also could not be immediately reached.

Trump and Google's Pichai had met at the White House last month. Following the meeting, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said they both had been assured that any of Google's work with China was "very, very limited."

Days later, Trump warned Google with a post on Twitter.

 

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