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Major media outlets have begun to gaslight GOP voters in the wake of a contentious and still unsettled election using false or misleading claims attributed to Republicans who are supposedly rebuking President Donald Trump.
The UK’s Daily Mail, for instance, published a story under a lengthy headline that is blatantly false: “Mitch McConnell says EVERY vote must be counted in a veiled rebuke to Trump – as GOP’s Pennsylvania senator calls president’s conspiracy-theory rant ‘hard to watch’ and says there is NO large scale fraud.”
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ignored President Donald Trump’s wild claims of widespread election fraud, sending out a sober tweet Friday morning,” the lead paragraph claimed.
But the very next paragraph — which is a quote from McConnell himself — directly refutes what was just claimed.
“Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes,” McConnell wrote on Twitter. “That’s how Americans’ votes decide the result.”
Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes.
That's how Americans' votes decide the result.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) November 6, 2020
McConnell clearly did not say ‘every vote must be counted,’ as the Daily Mail’s headline claimed.
In fact, the president himself hit on that same theme during a Thursday evening speech when he said, “If you count the legal vote, I easily win.”
But other Republicans have made the same error in mischaracterizing what Trump has said and what has already transpired in the election process, which has triggered a number of lawsuits by his campaign.
The Daily Mail noted:
Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and a Trump ally, accused the president of “inflaming without informing” urging him to “show us the evidence.”
Larry Hogan, Republican governor of Maryland, said there is “no defense” for Trump’s comments, adding: ‘No person is more important than democracy.’
And Adam Kinzinger, a Republican representative from Illinois, added: “If you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation… This is getting insane.”
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania also lambasted the president Friday morning during an interview with NBC’s “Today” show.
“I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch,” Toomey said. “The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here.”
And that’s likely the problem: He’s just not aware.
The president’s entire argument has always been counting only the legal ballots. His campaign has insisted in various lawsuits — taking his cases to court, as Kinzinger directed — that illegal ballots are being included in vote totals, especially Pennsylvania.
On his Thursday evening program, conservative talker Mark Levin knocked those Republican critics of the president, to include Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for failing to take issue with the fact that election laws in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and elsewhere that are not subject to change by state or federal courts or by secretaries of state were altered nonetheless.
“Where were you when courts in PA and other states were unconstitutionally changing the state election laws in violation of Art. II of the federal Constitution?” Levin said, according to show notes on his website.
“Hundreds of lawsuits were brought by the Democrats, working for Biden and the DNC, undertook this nationwide strategy and I heard little from the peanut galleries,” he continued.
“Moreover, numerous Democrat state legislatures changed their election laws in the recent past for the purpose of making it more difficult for Trump and Republicans to win, by changing mail-in voting rules, etc. Again, this all matters,” said Levin.
“So, when they say count every legal vote, the issue of what is legal was decided in ways that are very troubling in some cases — no postmark, no signatures, no matching signatures, etc. These politicians should be saying — support the federal Constitution, support what was existing state election law, and then count every legal vote cast. The Supreme Court, under John Roberts, had a chance to uphold the Constitution but failed. That’s where the real problem rests,” he concluded.