Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) on Sunday tried to sow doubt about the presidential election results in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” but host George Stephanopoulos wasn’t having it.
Braun wouldn’t say whether he accepted that Joe Biden was president-elect, saying instead that the election process still needs to “play itself out.”
“I think that we’ve got a threshold coming on Dec. 14,” Braun said, referring to the day Electoral College members are slated to formally cast their votes based on their states’ certified results.
California on Saturday certified its presidential election, officially giving Biden the Electoral College majority he needs to succeed Trump, The Associated Press reported. Biden declared victory on Nov. 7 after virtually all major media networks projected him as the winner of the election.
Even so, Braun accused Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, of “reflexively” dismissing allegations of voter fraud in the state.
“I think that when you just say that there’s nothing there, you’re going to have half of the country uncertain about what just happened and disgruntled going into the future,” Braun said.
But Stephanopoulos pushed back against Braun’s claim that Raffensperger or any other election official was turning a blind eye to election issues. He reminded Braun that certification results have taken place across the country, including in Republican-led states such as Georgia and Arizona, where Biden won.
“There have been more than 55 lawsuits brought forth by the president and his allies. Thirty-eight have been dismissed by judges,” Stephanopoulos said. “There have been investigations directed by the Justice Department. … The attorney general came back and said there’s no evidence of widespread fraud. So the process has played out, hasn’t it? … Why can’t you accept the results?”
Braun waved off Stephanopoulos’ fact check, calling the dismissal of voter fraud claims “convenient.”
“Let’s look at what the secretary of state did not mention in Georgia,” Braun said. “You know, the video, where after a counting place closed, you see boxes of ballots coming out from underneath the table. I know that’s kind of a graphic example … .”
But Stephanopoulos interrupted him to point out that election officials have already debunked the claim he was pushing.
“Well, I have to stop you right there,“ Stephanopoulos said. “It wasn’t mentioned because it didn’t show anything improper. He’s spoken to that this week. That was exactly the proper process for counting the ballots. There wasn’t anything wrong shown in that video at all. So you’re just throwing out a claim out there that doesn’t prove what you’re saying.”
Some Republican lawmakers have publicly acknowledged Biden as president-elect, but many have either refused to do so or have remained silent on the issue.
Trump has refused to concede the election and continues to peddle false claims of widespread voter fraud ― claims that have been disproven by a few of Trump’s past allies in some cases.
Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, warned that Trump’s rhetoric and lies were going to get someone “shot” or “killed.”
“It has to stop,” Sterling said in a news conference Tuesday, adding: “This is elections. This is the backbone of democracy, and all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this. It’s too much. … Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”
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