The Trump campaign posted the wrong number for a Michigan lawmaker on social media. A 28-year-old in California got all of the calls instead.
- The Trump campaign asked supporters to call Michigan officials on Sunday and demand they decertify the state's presidential election results.
- The social media posts included a wrong number for the Republican former Michigan House speaker Lee Chatfield.
- The number instead directed supporters to 28-year-old O Rose, a Michigan native who now lives in California.
- Rose, who has received thousands of calls and texts since Sunday, said they're trying to approach the situation with empathy.
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A 28-year-old from Michigan received a bombardment of text message and calls from supporters of President Donald Trump after his campaign included a wrong number in social media post challenging President-elect Joe Biden's election win.
O Rose, a 28-year-old from northern Michigan who uses they/them pronouns, told Insider they've received hundreds of calls and texts since Sunday after the Trump campaign erroneously posted their phone number to millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook.
Rose's number was included in a post in which the Trump campaign urged supporters to call Republican Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Republican former Michigan House speaker Lee Chatfield, to demand a vote to decertify Biden's election.
Instead of Chatfield's number, however, the campaign made a typo and included Rose's.
The posts have since been deleted, but Trump supporters are still sharing Rose's number on other social media pages, believing it to be Chatfield's.
"At first I was scared, and then it was kind of funny, and then I was mad," Rose told Insider of the phone number mix-up, which was first reported by the Petoskey News-Review. "I went through all the stages of loss and grief, because when they would call me I would say this isn't Lee Chatfield, and there was a lot of denial in them, and it got kind of sad, these people are super disenfranchised and super confused."
Rose, who now lives in Oakland, California, said at first they started trolling people who texted them — sending them funny photos of animals and food — but soon decided using empathy and helping them was more productive.
"This is part of the larger issue of disinformation, and I got to the point that these people wouldn't otherwise talk to someone like me, so I kind of decided not to change my number," they said.
They told Insider they're trying to be nice to everyone who reaches out.
"It's been eye-opening and kind of sad. I'm trying to help them unravel the situation," they said.
Rose said they haven't received any threats of violence, but they have spoken with a number of people who suggested Rose was hiding Chatfield and voiced other conspiracy theories.
Biden won the presidential election in Michigan by more than 150,000 votes, and the results were certified by the bipartisan, four-member Michigan Board of State Canvassers in November.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the situation regarding Rose's phone number.
Rose said they expect the calls to continue until at least tomorrow, but hopes they slow down after the US Senate counts Trump-Biden Electoral College votes on Wednesday.
For now, Rose said they're trying to be helpful to those who call.
"I'd rather try to help people talk to each other, and I'm a big believer in nonviolent communication, and it'd be incorrect for me to respond with any type of aggression," they told Insider. "I'm trying to be empathetic."
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