American Conservative Union chief Matt Schlapp held his own in a combative interview Monday with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who said that former President Donald Trump’s claims of vote fraud and manipulation were unfounded while hinting he should not be given a platform to continue making them.
To lead the segment, Cuomo noted that Trump will be a featured speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that is set to begin on Thursday, strongly suggesting that he should not be given a venue to speak.
Schlapp responded by noting that Trump’s agenda and policies were “the most conservative” of any president in generations and that he kept his promises while in office.
“So why not have him speak? It seems to me it makes perfect sense that he would come back and talk to his followers and faithful, and talk about what’s gonna happen in the future,” said Schlapp.
In his response, Cuomo said CPAC is “tacitly endorsing [Trump’s] election farce.”
After a pause, Schlapp replied, “I don’t know what that means.”
Cuomo claimed that Trump “lied about the election being a fraud” and that CPAC’s platform “seems to be your acknowledgment of the same.”
“I’d love for you to look at our agenda,” Schlapp said. “We’re actually going to spend a lot of time on going through what happened” in several key battleground states that changed election rules ahead of Nov. 3.
“You said several things in the previous interview that simply aren’t true,” the CPAC chairman continued. “You said that these states were simply following state law.”
“No, I didn’t. No, I didn’t,” Cuomo interjected. “I said it is not true that any state decided that it was doing something wrong. And states get to decide. And it was adjudicated.”
“You just don’t like that you lost in the state. You don’t like that the Supreme Court refused to see any merit to your claims. You don’t like that people voted in places where they didn’t live and the numbers were lower than you suggested. You don’t like those things, but they’re true,” the host continued.
“I don’t like those things, but it’s still very important that we go back to the idea of legal voting,” Schlapp said.
After crosstalk, Schlapp added, “You had me on the show and you’re telling me that saying there was widespread illegal voting is false. And I’m trying to explain to you that, for instance, what they did in the state of Georgia when they had an illegal consent decree to not verify the signatures of mail-in ballots… That means you have no security on the ballot that was mailed out without unsolicited vast mail-in ballots. They were returned with no security. You can’t have an election in another country that the State Department would accept these types of ground rules.”
Cuomo disputed that.
“You’re making a straw man argument. It’s a boogeyman argument,” said the host. “There is no proof of rampant fraud. Nobody is saying the process is perfect. You lost.”
Schlapp went on to say that “Joe Biden is my president,” but that fact doesn’t mean there weren’t any instances of fraud or voter irregularities.
To that point, earlier this month Time magazine published a lengthy piece describing how a “cabal of powerful people” worked “behind the scenes” in a “shadow campaign” that was ostensibly aimed at protecting election integrity, but which also included successful efforts to get officials in states including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan to alter existing voting laws without going through legislatures.
Critics of those changes say that under the Constitution, only state legislatures can change or alter the times, places, and manner in which people vote.
Cuomo noted that lawsuits based on those changes — made by secretaries of state and okayed by state courts — all failed.
Schlapp pushed back, however, and noted that just because the Supreme Court did not want to hear those cases didn’t mean they had no merit.
“You’re right. They did fail,” Schlapp said. “But guess what. You know this. You’re a good lawyer.
“Just because you fail in court doesn’t mean you don’t have a good case. It means you lost in court, and the fact remains that you can say it wasn’t enough voter fraud,” he added.
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