November 28, 2020

Barr tells prosecutors to pursue ‘clear’ fraud claims, without evidence – as it happened

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2020/nov/09/us-election-joe-biden-transition-donald-trump-coronavirus-covid-kamala-harris-live-news-updates

A hastily called Trump campaign press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington today recycled unproven claims of voter fraud but offered no specific proof.

“Do you know that fraudulent votes were actually cast?” a reported asked. “Or are you simply saying we don’t know because we couldn’t see it?”

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, could offer only: “What we are asking for here is patience.”

Journalists crammed into the lobby of the Republican National Committee headquarters after taking temperature checks and heard first from McEnany, who has recently been blurring the line between federal government activity and political campaigning.

“This election is not over – far from it,” declared Trump’s spokesperson, who at her first White House briefing promised never to lie from the podium.

McEnany speaks during a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters.


McEnany speaks during a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters. Photograph: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Without evidence, McEnany said: “There is only one party in America trying to keep observers out of the count room. And that party, my friends, is the Democrat party. You take these positions because you are welcoming fraud and you are welcoming illegal voting.”

As she went on to claim that Republicans want “maximum sunlight” and “maximum transparency”, the baseless charge prompted the conservative Fox News network to cut away from briefing. Host Neil Cavuto said: “Whoa, whoa, whoa… Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing this.”

Meanwhile Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, claimed the party had “thousands of reports of poll watchers being intimidated” in Michigan and highlighted a “whistleblower” allegation in Detroit about ballots being nefariously backdated. This has been debunked by fact checkers.

Biden leads by more than 4m votes but McDaniel urged: “If it were this close the other way, if Trump was in the lead in all these states, the media’d be screaming, ‘This isn’t over … We need more time to count and make sure it’s right.’”

Challenged as to how there could be a conspiracy in “red counties” when in fact Republicans picked up House seats and performed well in the Senate, McDaniel failed to answer. And as McEnany left, a reporter shouted, “Is the president being a sore loser?” Again there was silence.