Fox News host Bill Hemmer grilled defenders of President Donald Trump’s efforts to root out alleged voting improprieties during his program Tuesday, at one point asking Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) when it may be time for the campaign to throw in the towel.
In one segment, Hemmer pressed Matt Schlapp, head of the American Conservative Union, on the Trump campaign’s claims that “thousands” of ballots in Nevada may have been illegally cast, suggesting they have, in reality, been cast by military members overseas.
Schlapp said it was “perfectly appropriate” for military members deployed overseas to vote in their home state, but those aren’t the ballots the Trump campaign is talking about.
He added that initially, Trump campaign officials discovered what they believe are at least 3,000 improper ballots, a number that will “easily swell to 9,000 and go higher” as additional searches of voting rolls and ballots cast take place.
Schlapp also pushed back on the media for failing to make the distinction.
“There’s a mantra going on in the media that there’s no evidence, that there’s no proof” of fraud, he said. “When I went out to Nevada, I thought I’d see a little bit of fraud there, a little bit of problems there, that’s what you normally find on the ground.
“I’ve never been to a place where we’ve been able to demonstrate almost immediately thousands and thousands of improper ballots,” Schlapp continued. “And we haven’t even gotten to the mother lode of the mail-in ballots.”
Hemmer interjected, saying that he wasn’t trying to “tell” Schlapp “anything, I’m just trying to figure it out myself,” adding: “When do we see that evidence there, these thousands and thousands that you’re talking about?”
Schlapp did not respond directly, but instead explained that Trump campaign officials and lawyers are in the process of comparing voter registration rolls to actual voters and have found “thousands” of names of people who are either dead or who moved out of state.
In early August, President Trump vowed to sue Nevada after the Democrat-controlled legislature passed a new measure late at night authorizing universal mail-in balloting and a controversial collection process called “ballot harvesting.”
“In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!” Trump tweeted Aug. 3.
Later in Hemmer’s program, he brought on Tillis, who just won a tough reelection campaign in North Carolina, to ask when he thought it would be time for the president to concede.
“If you’re advising him on his next move, what would that be?” Hemmer asked.
“I think that it’s very important that the American people have confidence in the outcome” of the election, Tillis said by phone. He added that he believes it’s “important that every legal vote was cast and counted appropriately.”
“You’re not prepared to call Joe Biden the president-elect based on that answer, are you?” Hemmer responded.
While not criticizing Biden for declaring himself the winner last week, Tillis noted, “I am saying that there are questions that need to be answered” regarding alleged voter improprieties, and that the recount process “should be allowed to play out.”
Hemmer then shifted to how long Americans should have to wait until they learn the results of the elections.
“Matt Schlapp just came back from Clark County,” Hemmer said. “He’s arguing that there are thousands and thousands of illegal votes cast. Well, that may or may not be the case, but so far we haven’t seen any evidence of that.
“At what moment do you say put up or shut up?” Hemmer asked.
“I think that people who say that no fraud occurs are just empirically wrong,” Tillis said after referencing an illegal ballot harvesting operation previously in his state.
“Whether it not it rose to a level where it determined an outcome are the kinds of questions that you ask in these very, very close races,” Tillis said.
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