(Headline USA) The House’s second-ranking Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, repeatedly refused to say on Sunday that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, standing by Donald Trump‘s well-substantiated claim that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud.
Scalise was unwilling during a national television interview to acknowledge the legitimacy of the vote, instead sticking to his belief that the election results should not have been certified by Congress.
“I’ve been very clear from the beginning,” he said. “If you look at a number of states, they didn’t follow their state-passed laws that govern the election for president. That is what the United States Constitution says. They don’t say the states determine what the rules are. They say the state legislatures determine the rules,” the Louisiana congressman said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Pressed by left-wing anchor Chris Wallace on whether the election went beyond a few irregularities to be considered “stolen,” Scalise responded: “It’s not just irregularities. It’s states that did not follow the laws set which the Constitution says they’re supposed to follow.”
As Trump mulls a 2024 presidential bid, he has been intensifying efforts to shame — and potentially remove — members of his party who refuse to acknowledge the stolen election.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who is vying to become speaker if the GOP takes control after the 2022 midterm election, continues to defend Trump.
At a rally Saturday in Iowa, Trump spent almost 30 minutes arguing that he had won Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds welcomed his return to their state.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who is serving on a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, on Sunday slammed Scalise for spreading Trump’s “Big Lie.”
“Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the election was stolen,” Cheney tweeted. “Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.