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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Journalists, a number of elected leaders, and even a smattering of Republicans are clearly losing patience with Donald Trump’s dishonesty and conspiracy-mongering in service of ensuring he is installed for a second term at all costs.
Trump, as expected, has become enraged as states continue to count their mail-in ballots as provided for by law, often eating away at his big Election Day leads in a number of important battleground states.
Twice this week, since Election Day, he has spoken to the American people from the White House, where he has lied to them and told them that he had won the presidential election only to have it stolen by some conspiracy of Democrats and the news media.
Many mainstream news media have cut away from these presidential addresses out of a responsibility to the truth and reality.
“No Republican elected official will stand behind that statement. None of them will,” former senator and one-time Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said of Trump’s Thursday speech. “They will stand behind elements of that statement and they will stand behind his comment about the polling and how he could make the argument that it was suppression, and dishonest. I mean, you can stand behind the lack of transparency when it came to allowing the votes to be counted. There’s evidence of that and he provided some evidence for that.
“There are certain things they will stand behind in that statement because they reflect the reality, but much of that statement was not factual and was at times incendiary and not something that a president of the United States should say,” he added.
Others went even further, including Josh Shapiro, the attorney general of Pennsylvania, which has been a focal point all week as election workers tabulate ballots for what could be 20 make-or-break electoral votes from the Keystone State.
“There is transparency baked into the system, where candidates from all parties and all parties and what have you have the opportunity to observe,” Shapiro said in an on-air interview with MSNBC host Hallie Jackson. “Hallie, you and your viewers can observe by going online and watching a live stream of what goes on there. So we’re going to continue this count.
“There will be transparency in the process, and I would just say at this point, the rhetoric needs to go away. The campaign is over. We just need to focus on counting these ballots,” Shapiro added.
Journalist and Fox contributor Charlie LeDuff volunteered as a precinct captain counting ballots in Detroit, Mich.
“Here’s what I saw: I knew this was coming so I volunteered to count–physically count these ballots–watch the process, see what the computer does, and I ran a team. It was Counting Board 11. We processed over 2,000 of them. Also being a reporter, everyone in there knew me. The government knew me, the canvassers knew me, the people knew me. I was up and down in there. It went really well.
“It never goes well in Detroit. We always screw it up. But it works pretty well. The food was awful, the toilet blew up, COVID was everywhere, we got old people with oxygen tanks, but it worked,” LeDuff added. “We balanced the envelope with the ballot. So in the end you got to have one envelope and one ballot. And what happens if you mis-scan an envelope or it kinda gets by you, they get out of whack. That is human error. That is not fraud.”
CNN host Jake Tapper lamented not only Trump’s lies, but also the president’s rank hypocrisy in his dishonesty.
“What a sad night for the United States of America to hear their president say that, to falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election, to try to attack democracy that way with his feast of falsehoods. Lie after lie, after lie about the election being stolen,” Tapper said. “No evidence for what he’s saying, just smears about the integrity of vote counting in state after state. When he wins the state, it’s legitimate. When he loses, it’s because the vote is being stolen from him. It’s not true. It’s ugly. It’s frankly pathetic.”
And Bakari Sellers, attorney and former Democratic politician from South Carolina, noted only half in jest that if the Democratic Party really were rigging a massive conspiracy to steal the 2020 elections, they were doing a pretty poor job of it.
“First of all, let me also say that Democrats, if we’re going to rig an election, we really must suck because we just rigged an election where we lost House seats and we didn’t flip the Senate,” Sellers said.
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