Rand Paul spars with ABC host over election integrity
Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday got into a heated exchange with ABC host George Stephanopoulos over the disproven claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen — days after President Joe Biden was inaugurated.
Asked on ABC’s “This Week” whether the election was stolen, the Kentucky Republican responded: “What I would say is that the debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur. We never had any presentation in court where we actually looked at the evidence.” He argued that the rulings were based on the legal status of the claims, not the validity of the arguments — something that was true in some cases but by no means all of them.
Paul, an ally of former President Donald Trump who ultimately voted to certify Biden’s Electoral College win in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol aimed at stopping the count of those votes, went on to accuse the ABC host of “coming from the liberal side” and calling the disproved claims lies rather than giving them treatment as a “both sides” debate.
Stephanopoulos interrupted Paul after he went on to say that there’s still a chance that some challenges in states whose election officials changed voting rules without legislative approval would make it to the Supreme Court — and that there was a possibility that ballots were cast under the names of dead people or by undocumented immigrants.
“Sen. Paul, I have to stop you there,” Stephanopoulos said. “No election is perfect. But there were 86 challenges filed by President Trump and his allies in court, all were dismissed. Every state certified the results after investigations, counts and recounts. The Department of Justice led by William Barr said there was no widespread evidence of fraud. Can’t you just say the words ‘This election was not stolen’?”
Paul responded by alleging a majority of Republicans believe the election was stolen, at which point Stephanopoulos retorted: “Seventy-five percent of Republicans agree with you because they were fed a big lie by President Trump and his supporters who say the election was stolen.”