U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted Google in a tweet on Tuesday, accusing the tech giant of giving a "silent donation" to a left-wing group to stop President Donald Trump, and for allegedly working with China and Russia to censor the internet.
The Republican official said an "invite will be on its way" to the company — presumably a request for it to testify.
Tweet: Google claims to be fair, but gave a "silent donation" to a left-wing group to stop Trump; Works w/ China/Russia to censor the internet, but cancelled a contract with our military; Ignores Senate hearing; It's time for @Google to answer some ?'s An invite will be on its way.
A Google spokesperson told CNBC in a statement:
"The suggestion that Google's products or actions are politically biased is simply wrong. For the past decade, we've worked alongside other technology companies to provide users with voting information before they head to the polls, and have offered tools to protect elections from hacking and digital attacks."
It wasn't clear what McCarthy was referring to when he claimed Google gave "a 'silent donation' to a left-wing group to stop Trump." Phone calls made to McCarthy's offices outside business hours went unanswered. Such an allegation was made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson earlier this week, but CNBC was unable to independently verify his claims.
McCarthy's claim of Google supporting internet censorship may have been tied to reports from last month that said the tech giant had plans to launch a version of its search engine in China that would block some websites and search terms. That supposed plan was criticized by human rights advocates, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai later told employees that the company was "not close" to launching a search product in China and that whether it would — or could — "is all very unclear."
It was not clear, either, to what "cancelled" contract the congressman referred. In June, Google told its employees that it would not renew a contract to help the U.S. military analyze aerial drone imagery after it expires next March, according to a report, which added that more than 6,400 employees signed a petition calling for the company to end the deal.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee to address election meddling and abuse on their platforms. Google's Pichai and Alphabet CEO Larry Page were invited to testify as well but they declined.
The tech giant came under fire last month from Trump when the president said, without providing evidence, that its search engine was hiding "fair media" coverage of him and added that he would address the situation, without giving any details. Google denied any political bias.
Here's the full statement from the Google spokesperson:
The suggestion that Google's products or actions are politically biased is simply wrong. For the past decade, we've worked alongside other technology companies to provide users with voting information before they head to the polls, and have offered tools to protect elections from hacking and digital attacks.
The employee's email is an expression of her personal political views about the outcome of the 2016 election and those views do not reflect any official stance by the company. We have nearly 90,000 employees comprising a broad array of political affiliations. The email itself explicitly notes that she is speaking personally, and that Google's efforts were non-partisan.
Currently, we are working with the non-partisan National Voter Registration Day -- a board represented by Secretaries of State from both sides of the aisle -- to increase awareness about voter registration before November's election.
Our election and voting information is made available to all Americans who search for it -- it is not targeted to any locations or demographic groups. And contrary to reports, we made no donation -- monetary, in-kind, silent or otherwise -- to Voto Latino to drive people to the polls.
As we approach the midterm election, we will continue to ensure that our products and election efforts remain strictly non-partisan in nature. Our goal is to equip users with accurate, up-to-date information about their elections -- not to support any particular candidate or ideology.
— Reuters and CNBC's Sara Salinas contributed to this report.