Trump's Chief of Staff Had the Pettiest Response to FBI Director After He Debunked Voter Fraud Claims
With an unprecedented amount of mail-in ballots expected in the 2020 election, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been pursuing a months-long campaign to sow mistrust in the 100+ year old institution, falsely claiming the process is rife with enough voter fraud to potentially sway an entire election.
Republicans have baselessly floated the possibility of foreign countries somehow sending fake ballots into the U.S. and of people voting multiple times.
In a Senate committee hearing on Friday, FBI Director Christopher Wray—who was appointed by Trump—confirmed that there is no evidence in history of a coordinated effort to sway an election using fraudulent ballots.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, contradicting Donald Trump (who appointed him) in congressional testimony (from Thursday): "We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election." pic.twitter.com/Vfibg1aqTE
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) September 25, 2020
"We take all election related threats seriously ... We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise."
While Wray emphasized that his comments weren't minimizing the seriousness with which the FBI approaches election related threats, his words were a notable contradiction to the smears from Trump.
On Friday, Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows responded to the Director's comments in an interview.
With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there's any kind of voter fraud." — White House Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows on FBI Dir. Christopher Wray saying he's seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud pic.twitter.com/W5PUfpnWCn
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 25, 2020
"With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there's any kind of voter fraud."
He went on to encourage Wray to investigate instances of voter fraud "on the ground" and said that would potentially change his testimony.
Twitter users pushed back against Meadows' rebuttal.
Dangerous lies and misdirection from Mark Meadows.
Meadows wants to discredit the FBI director because that director is not going along with the Republican lie of widespread voter fraud.
There is no widespread voter fraud. This tweet should be taken down. https://t.co/bDNUxiZ2ev
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 25, 2020
We've seen this before: officials who don't toe the president's line, and bend or manufacture the facts to do so, suffer a long, slow public attack on their competence. See Coats on Russian interference for closest comparison to Wray. https://t.co/cPxXMawNKR
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 25, 2020
Meadows is as corrupt as Barr or Trump. They are all toxic to democracy and the sooner they're out of power and can no longer intentionally corrode it, the better. https://t.co/CoDyojY6CE
— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) September 25, 2020
JUST IN: White House chief of staff insults the FBI director publicly, because the director isn't furthering the GOP's and president's conspiracy theories and unfounded election fraud claims to stew doubt in the American presidential election in his favor. https://t.co/ASEKWnJQGa
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) September 25, 2020
The way you *know* Trump's "law and order" chant is just coded racism is that whenever these guys have a chance to support "law and order," like the F-B-freaking-I they crap all over it.
Trumpsters aren't in it for the law or the order, they're in it for the racism. https://t.co/bswuM48Cmz
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) September 25, 2020
Mark Meadows again makes it clear that evidence has nothing to do with this.
Meadows and Trump are attacking the integrity of the election and making claims of “fraud" because they fear Trump will lose.
If Trump loses, they will claim the election was unfair. It's that simple. https://t.co/NOCsiTct1R
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) September 25, 2020
Others warned that the White House was determined to corrupt the results of the election.
This is a new, shocking level of insult and degradation of the FBI, Wray's leadership, and the USG agencies trying to secure the election—incredible and upsetting to have a White House chief of staff talk like this. https://t.co/elfWDeF9OP
— Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) September 25, 2020
Don't pass this by and treat it as just politics - the ruling party is making stuff up - entirely, not a shed of truth - to discredit an election they are poised to lose. It is the undoing of democracy happening right before our eyes. https://t.co/p4scFYPKmE
— Ryan D. Enos (@RyanDEnos) September 25, 2020
The early 'adults in the room' period of the Trump presidency was quite bad. But the current 'surrounded by authoritarian zealots' stage seems to be much worse. https://t.co/Y3m9gx2qxW
— Jordan Weissmann (@JHWeissmann) September 25, 2020
Trump has said that he would accept election results deemed fair by the Supreme Court, to which he is trying to appoint a new conservative Justice.