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Fox News’ Sandra Smith was torched by viewers over her combative attempt at an interview with Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp.
The two locked horns Tuesday in a heated debate about President Trump’s recent remarks on mail-in voting, sparking a torrent a criticism from viewers who slammed Smith as the network’s “new Shepard Smith.”
(Source: Fox News)
Schlapp, who also dealt with petulant and combative CNN host Brianna Keilar over the same topic, attempted to give Smith a “crash course” on the difference between absentee ballots and mail-in voting after being pressed on Trump’s contention that mail-in voting may lead to increased voter fraud.
The president has repeatedly made the argument against the push by Democrats and, in tweets on Tuesday, he slammed Nevada’s universal mail-in voting law as an “illegal late night coup” while he praised Florida’s mail-in balloting.
“Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True,” Trump tweeted, adding that “in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail!”
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
Smith, who was guest-hosting Fox News Channel’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Tuesday, asked Schlapp about criticism from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden who claims that Trump “is setting things up to cry foul” if he loses in November.
“Give me a break! Hillary Clinton didn’t even accept the results of the election in 2016. I think for Joe Biden to make that claim is preposterous,” Schlapp replied.
“Clearly what President Trump is bringing to light is that when you are looking at Democrats who are pushing for universal mail-in voting, especially 90 days before a general election, where many of these states are not prepared to handle this, it can cause voter fraud. It can cause a huge problem,” Schlapp added.
“Where’s the evidence of this?” Smith asked. “You were challenged multiple times on that today and you did not come up with evidence of that, and quite frankly, there is strong evidence to the contrary.”
The Fox News host then argued that the Trump campaign and RNC “have been responsible for setting up safe and secure mail-in voting across the country,” but Trump seemed to contradict that in his recent interview with Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
“By claiming it would be fraudulent, isn’t he making the case that the RNC and the Trump campaign got things wrong?” Smith questioned.
“Let me give you a crash course on absentee ballot versus mail-in voting,” Schlapp shot back.
“In the case of Florida, for example, that would be an absentee voting system that’s in place. That’s when you get to request a ballot, the ballot gets to your house, you fill it out, you send it back in,” she explained.
“When you’re talking about mail-in voting based on the Democrats’ framework, what they mean is they compare it to the election file and then they send it out to all those individuals on the election file who might have died, who might have changed address, and that is where you run into potential election fraud,” Schlapp added.
“But why was it safely done in Florida, then?” Smith asked, adding snidely, “Thank you for the education on that.”
“I think, quite frankly, everybody should go read up on that because it seems to be a pretty harsh discussion right now, the difference between mail-in and an absentee voting, and we are all getting an education on that,” she added. “But he’s flipped on Florida and said it’s safe to do it there.”
“Because it’s absentee. Are you getting the difference?” Schlapp replied as Smith cut her off, chiding her to “hold on” and “respectfully” listen to the clip of the president’s remarks.
She went on to press Schlapp on the argument that there are Republicans “behind-the-scenes” who “are saying it is puzzling that he continues to press this issue, that it is self-defeating and made the point that it could backfire because it’s going to be the president’s own base that listens to him on this, not Democrats.”
Schlapp went on to address Smith’s points, citing the fiasco in New York’s primary race that has taken weeks to determine the winner in a tight congressional race that prompted a lawsuit over thousands of invalidated mail-in ballots.
“I think we have an issue here that we are seeing in New York, how are you going to take that to a national scale when you’re dealing with millions of votes and then you’ve got Nevada that in the dead of the night, they changed the law and what they ended up doing is you can vote three days after the election…” she said as Smith again cut her off.
“There’s a lot to take in there, but I’m running out of time with you and we spent a lot of time on that,” the Fox News host claimed.
Twitter users slammed Smith’s contentious interview and called her out for having a “nasty attitude.”
Sandra Smith, the new Sheppard Smith of FOX NEWS. She questions conservatives with anger in her voice and accusatory language.
— One faithful pastor (@Sola_Veritas1) August 3, 2020
If Fox News wants to keep it’s viewers, it should replace Sandra Smith. Her interview on The Story with Mercedes Schlapp is the latest example of her questioning conservatives and then trashing their answers. She also has a nasty attitude!
— Jess Woodard (@trueJessWoodard) August 5, 2020
My impression of Sandra Smith crashed over the last 2 days. She was unprofessional and sarcastic to Karl Rove when he called her Martha. The professional thing to do was to ignore it, but she chosed to embarrass him. She was rude to Mercedes Schlapp. Welcome back Martha.
— Linda Jones Kocher (@linda_kocher) August 5, 2020
Why did Sandra Smith interview herself instead of Mercedes Schlapp, talking over her & not allowing Mercedes to answer? Sandra was looking for her gotcha CNN style moment, but she just embarrassed & discredited herself. Sad.
— Craig (@CraigDillman1) August 5, 2020
Sandra Smith, standing in for Martha MacCallum on Fox News tonight, treated Mercedes Schlapp like the enemy. What’s up with that?
— Raymond E Keel (@RaymondEKeel1) August 5, 2020
Did ya see how Sandra Smith, sit in for Martha on FOX, just slammed Mercedes Schlapp over statement Mercedes spoke about fraud possibility with mail-in voting?! She snapped calling her out, there’s no proof it could happen said Sandra, and then said it’s actually opposite??
— JGleasonSC (@gleason_sc) August 4, 2020
Question: Did anyone just watch The Story with Martha MaCallum? Well, Sandra Smith is filling in for her. Was it just me or did she become the devil and light into Mercedes Schlapp? How nasty was she? I think she’s become slanted to the left myself. Man! WAPOS! @SandraSmithFox
— Shay Shay (@ConservWarrior) August 5, 2020
Sandra Smith @foxnews Do you have a personal hatred of Mercedes Schlapp? You wouldn’t let her answer a question and then you were rude to her when she did. Perhaps you could feign indifference.
— Lucille Zimmerman 🇺🇸 (@LucilleZ) August 5, 2020
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