President Donald Trump has at this point long resorted to utterly baseless claims of voter fraud in an effort to deflect as much attention as possible away from failures of his campaign operation — and the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election in which he’s running for a second term is no different. Now, Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub has demanded that Trump essentially either put up or shut up following him wheeling out an utterly baseless claim that he would have won New Hampshire in 2016 if not for voter fraud.
In a letter Weintraub sent the president following his recent New Hampshire campaign stop that CNN reported on this Friday, the Democratic leader of the federal elections panel noted that American democracy functions on a bedrock of “the American people’s faith in our elections” — and that Trump is messing that up.
As she put it, insisting that he needs to either present any evidence for his voter fraud claims or stop making them:
‘Your voter-fraud allegations run the risk of undermining that faith… To put in terms a former casino operator should understand, there comes a time when you need to lay your cards on the table or fold.’
During his time in New Hampshire this past week, Trump had parroted his apparently utterly baseless claims of voter fraud to rally attendees and reporters. As he put it to the journalists:
‘New Hampshire should have been won last time, except we had a lot of people come in at the last moment, which was a rather strange situation. Thousands and thousands of people, coming in from locations unknown.’
What’s “unknown” is what Trump is talking about. Again, just to be clear, there is no available public evidence for Trump’s claims here — not even a shred, although they do match claims he’s pushed in the past. More closely after the 2016 elections, he claimed that he would have won in the popular vote totals if not for millions of illegal votes that there was and remains no evidence actually exist.
Trump formed a whole commission to address the supposed fraud that included figures like Kansas Republican Kris Kobach, who’s known for his anti-immigrant and voter suppression pushes. After that commission sought personal voter information from an array of states and they refused to hand it over — it dissolved.
But Trump’s claims have continued all the same. More recently, he claimed that California officials admitted to a million illegal votes being cast, but that is blatantly false. In reality, they agreed to remove certain crops of names from voter rolls. There is no evidence that any of the people who for whatever reason shouldn’t have been there anymore ever actually cast a single illegal vote.
In other words, there’s no indication considering precedent that Trump will actually take Weintraub’s admonition to heart and consider his words surrounding the U.S. elections process more carefully. He’s got plenty of backing for his positions in the national GOP, which across the country has implemented voter suppression programs like abrupt removals of vast numbers of people from voter rolls when there weren’t even any issues demanding the action.
Featured Image via screenshot