Trump’s first interview since losing reelection was a smorgasbord of disinformation

President Donald Trump made his first television appearance since being re-elected on Sunday in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ Sunday morning futures.

Over the course of 45 rambling minutes, Trump, mired in election denial, used the platform to promulgate a series of totally disproved lies, disinformation and conspiracy theories about non-existent voter fraud, aided and abetted by Bartiromo.

Specifically, Trump has exposed his usual bogus claims about rigged voting machines, postal voting, and shared overly optimistic views on his many, many election lawsuits. He also touched on a handful of random topics, including Iran and section 230 of the 1996 Communication Decency Act.

“I have been called by the greatest people to congratulate me, the politicians, to congratulate, sir. You have just won the elections. It was 10 a.m. and you looked at the numbers and I’m sure you felt it, ”Trump falsely told Bartiromo at the start of the segment when asked about his allegations of voter fraud. “This election was over and they did it [ballot dumps], they call them landfills, big massive landfills in Michigan, Pennsylvania and everywhere.

In reality, those “dumps” were just the counting of postal votes – something that had been said to Trump would add more votes to President-elect Joe Biden’s vote total than to his before the election, in part because that he spent the next few weeks. the election tell his supporters not to vote by post.

Trump has also launched a confused and spurious attack on Georgia’s upcoming Senate run-off. Set for January 5, the two rounds of voting will decide control of the US Senate – if Democrats win both, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to provide the deciding vote; however, if the Republicans win even one, they will retain a slim majority in the House.

“You use the same garbage machines, Dominion and [voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams is] walking around, she walks around shouting that she has received 800 or 850,000 ballots. What kind of elections are these? Trump said.

This isn’t the first time Trump has attacked the integrity of elections in Georgia – he lost the state in the presidential election, the first time a Republican has done so since George HW Bush in 1992 – and as Aaron Rupar of Vox explained, these attacks spawn “remarkably half-baked” efforts by some Republican operatives to encourage GOP voters to stay out of the second round.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the competence of Georgian election officials, casting doubt on their ability to hold future contests – and maintained, regardless proof to the contrary, that voting machines and software created by Dominion Voting Systems changed the votes cast for him in order to help Biden. He was so successful in pushing this particular conspiracy that President of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel was forced to spend part of her trip to the state trying to convince Republican voters they could trust the process and vote for the GOP Senate candidates in January.

Trump, who spent the last three days playing golf in one of his properties and this Thursday only answered a question from the press for the first time since polling day, also promised Bartiromo that he would “use 125% of my energy” to prove electoral fraud (which again, turned out not to exist to a significant degree) and nullify the election results.

Trump’s shootout of stupid lies, of course, has become more or less normal these days, but on Sunday he wasn’t shouting his plots into the Twitter void: instead he had Bartiromo and a national audience.

And Bartiromo made little attempt to repel the president’s assault on the most basic foundations of American democracy.

In response to a lie from Trump, for example – with the President falsely claiming that “there’s no way Joe Biden got 80 million votes… there’s no way that could happen. This election was a fraud and it was a rigged election ”- Bartiromo did not insist on obtaining evidence to support his claims, nor exposed the lie in real time. Instead, she said, “It’s disgusting, and we can’t allow America’s election to be corrupt,” then moved on to a new topic and came up with her own conspiracy theories.

Bartiromo’s acquiescence to Trump’s misinformation smuggling is particularly striking in the wake of the president’s repeated attacks on Fox News for not being sufficiently pro-Trump.

“. @ FoxNews during the day is virtually inaccessible, especially on weekends,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Look at @OANN, @newsmax or almost anything else.”

Whatever the president’s mercurial opinion on Fox, the reality bears repeating: Joe Biden won well over 80 million votes, beating Trump by over 6 million, and the election was neither a fraud nor a rig. All of this has happened no matter what the president says, and Biden will take office in January 2021.

Sadly, Trump’s rhetoric of voter fraud has taken root deeply in the Republican Party. A recent series of polls – including one conducted by Vox and Data for Progress on November 16 – show the majority of Republican voters believe there was fraud in the 2020 presidential election (there was none ).

In the case of Vox / Data for Progress survey, 75% of probable GOP voters agreed that “there had been voter fraud during the election that aided former Vice President Joe Biden.”

Trump’s lies won’t stop Joe Biden from taking office

Despite all of the president’s frenzied protests, he quickly ran out of time to challenge the election results. States – including Pennsylvania – begin to certify the results of their elections, and the federal certification deadline is approaching December 8. After that, the electoral college will meet on December 14, and Biden will be officially elected the next president.

At a time Wisconsin and Georgia – the swing states won by Biden – the reports confirmed the victory of the former vice president. Lawsuits aimed at overthrowing the will of the people in states like Pennsylvania have also been slapped in the courts, even Trump-appointed judges dismissing his lawyers’ arguments.

One of these judges, Stephanos Bibas, wrote in a Friday decision ruled by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that “the campaign cannot win this case. He admitted that he is not alleging electoral fraud. He has raised and lost most of these state law issues already, and he cannot question them here. “

Separately, in Sunday’s interview, Trump told Bartiromo that Pennsylvania Republican Mike Kelly had “an excellent deal” to invalidate mail-in ballots in the state “because the legislature failed. not made the decision on this. ” Not only was Kelly’s case dismissed with prejudice by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday, the president completely twisted the facts of the Bartiromo case – the state legislature made mail-in voting into law. in 2019.

A trip to the U.S. Supreme Court will likely prove just as futile for the president, experts say, if a Trump campaign trial gets that far in the first place. After senior Trump campaign counsel Jenna Ellis pledged to appeal the loss of the campaign’s third circuit to the Supreme Court in a tweet Friday, University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck highlighted that “any call is [dead on arrival]Even with a new conservative 6-3 majority on the pitch.

The transition to a Biden administration has also officially started: Chief of the General Service Administration Emily Murphy confirmed the election results Monday after public outcry over the delay, and federal funding was made available. of the Biden-Harris Transition Team. So as damaging as Trump’s tweets and Sunday talk may be to confidence in democracy, there is no reason to believe that they will lead to anything other than President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021. .

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