Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, was one of the main targets of former President Donald Trump and the Republican party's conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was "stolen" from Trump.
The former President frequently smeared Raffensperger as a "RINO" (Republican In Name Only) for repeatedly dismissing the fantasy that Georgia, which went blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992, produced fraudulent election results. Raffensperger received calls from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of North Carolina and then-President Trump himself, both urging him to find a way to deliver Trump a victory in the state.
The smear campaign led to threats from conservatives against Raffensperger and his family, and has completely tanked Raffensperger's reputation within the Republican party.
Nevertheless, Raffensperger continues to defend a recent voter suppression law passed in the state earlier this year, despite it hinging on the voter fraud fantasies he himself was forced to debunk.
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan called Raffensperger out on this in a recent interview.
Hasan pressed Raffensperger on this discrepancy, asking:
"I don't get why you would pass a law to fight voter fraud if there isn't any voter fraud. How can you be supporting a law that's going after something you say doesn't exist?"
When Raffensperger listed two aspects of the bill he thought were good—expanded early voting and harsher voter ID systems—before Hasan interjected to emphasize that:
"The bill itself, let's be honest with each other, with our viewers, was pushed by a Georgia Republican Party that said it's to fight voter fraud, and you told me a moment ago that there was no systematic voter fraud. So why pass a law to fight something that you say doesn't exist? I don't get it."
Georgia's Secretary of State once again deflected to quoting General Patton about moral courage before Hasan asked a third time:
"You just said to me there was no systematic voter fraud in Georgia, but you then supported a law that was pushed by Georgia Republicans who said, 'This law is to tackle systematic voter fraud in Georgia.' Please reconcile those two things for me."
Raffensperger pivoted to claim his goal was voter confidence, and absurdly suggested the bill—which enhances voter suppression in the southern state—was passed to tackle voter suppression.
People appreciated Hasan's efforts at holding the Secretary of State to account.
And Hasan wasn't the only one who thought Raffensperger's answer came up short.
Raffensperger also wouldn't rule out voting for Trump—the man who incited threats and harassment against him and his family—in 2024.