The No. 2 Republican in the US House of Representatives repeatedly declined to answer whether he believed the 2020 election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump.
Rep. Steve Scalise, the House minority whip, appeared on Fox News Sunday where he was questioned multiple times by host Chris Wallace about his views on the false and persistent belief that Trump was the rightful winner of the November election.
In response, the Republican congressman said several times that several states, citing Georgia and Arizona as examples, “did not follow their legislatively established rules” during the 2020 elections; Some Trump supporters have made this claim in reference to the expansion of vote-by-mail ballots in response to the Covid-19 crisis, although no lawsuit has been successful at the state level in questioning the results on that issue.
Wallace asked Scalise multiple times to voice his opinion on the overall outcome of the 2020 election, the loss of Trump, only for the congressman to dodge the issue entirely.
“The question is, last time, I promise you, do you think the elections were stolen or not?” Wallace asked Scalise, admitting that he had expressed his views on state officials who were allegedly not following the laws.
“It’s not just about wrongdoing, your states didn’t follow the established laws that the Constitution says they must follow,” Scalise responded, avoiding the direct question.
His refusal to answer illustrates the continuing bond in which many Republicans find themselves; If they deny Trump’s false claims regarding his defeat in 2020, they risk retaliation in the form of a primary challenger backed by the former president himself. If they go the opposite way and fully embrace Trump’s schemes to discourage confidence in the electoral system, they risk alienating centrist voters and some independents who rebelled over the events of January 6, when thousands of Trump supporters They stormed the grounds of the US Capitol stopping the certification of the loss of their candidate.
Scalise has largely stayed aligned with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in his public support for the former president without echoing some of his wildest claims. But they saw their group divided that resulted in the removal of Representative Liz Cheney as chair of the GOP House conference.
Cheney scolded Scalise on Sunday after his Fox News appearance, tweeting: “Millions of Americans have been sold on a fraud that the elections were stolen. Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic. “
Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the elections were stolen. Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic. https://t.co/I0bgEIdJrU
– Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) October 10, 2021