Republican congressman warns ‘more people will die’ over false claims of 2020 election fraud after call for executions airs on pro-Trump media outlet

A supporter of US President Donald Trump keeps a hand on his gun during a "Stop the Steal rally" in front of the residence of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz in St Paul, Minnesota, on November 7, 2020.
A supporter of former US President Donald Trump keeps a hand on his gun during a “Stop the Steal rally” in front of the residence of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz in St Paul, Minnesota, on November 7, 2020.

  • A host on the far-right One America News suggested killing “traitors” over false election fraud claims.
  • The network is staunchly pro-Trump and has promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 vote.
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False claims of systemic fraud in the 2020 election will result in blood being spilled, a Republican congressman warned Thursday.

Earlier in the week, the far-right One America News Network aired a segment in which a host erroneously claimed there were people involved in a conspiracy related to the 2020 election. “What happens to them? Well, in the past, America had a very good solution for dealing with such traitors: executions.”

There is no evidence of a mass conspiracy around the 2020 election, which President Joe Biden won.

Rep. Peter Meijer, a Michigan Republican who was first elected to the US Congress in 2020, denounced that rhetoric as obscene and dangerous.

“Let me be clear: more people will die [because] of craven propaganda like this,” Meijer posted on Twitter. “When there are no arrests [because] this is all a lie,” those who believe debunked allegations the election was stolen from ex-President Donald Trump “will take matters into their own hands.”

OANN is currently acting as a media partner for the partisan “audit” in Maricopa County, Arizona. That effort, led by the private firm Cyber Ninjas on behalf of the state’s GOP-led Senate, has been rife with irregularities that mean its findings “should not be trusted,” according to a recent review by election experts. President Joe Biden won the county by more than 45,000 votes.

In Michigan, meanwhile, a Republican-led investigation of the 2020 vote this week concluded that there was “no evidence of widespread or systemic fraud.” Biden won the state by more than 154,000 votes.

“Sources must lose credibility when it is shown they promote falsehoods, even more when they never take accountability for those falsehoods,” Republican state Sen. Ed McBroom, chair of the Senate Oversight Committee, said in a statement.

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About a dozen OAN employees have quit in recent months as some staffers don’t believe the stories run on air, report says

one america news oan
A reporter with One America News Network works at a campaign rally with President Donald Trump at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport on September 25, 2020 in Newport News, Virginia.

  • The New York Times reported that about a dozen staffers have recently exited One America News.
  • According to the report, some One America News employees are skeptical of their own network’s reporting.
  • The network leans heavily in favor of ex-President Donald Trump and has peddled false claims.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Employees of the cable network One America News do not believe all of the claims that are aired on it, according to a report by The New York Times.

According to the Sunday report, about a dozen staffers have left the network in recent months following the January 6 riot at the US Capitol that left five people dead. The network for months aired, repeated, and speculated on the former president’s false claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

There is no evidence to suggest any substantial fraud influenced the election. President Joe Biden won the election by beating Trump in key battleground states.

“Many people have raised concerns,” Allysia Britton, a news producer who recently left the network told The New York Times. “And the thing is, when people speak up about anything, you will get in trouble.”

Charles Herring, the president of OAN, confirmed to The Times that about 12 staffers had recently departed the network, but said they were “low-level” staffers.

Marty Golingan, an OAN producer since 2016, said the “majority” of his colleagues at the network did not believe the claims of voter fraud that were being run on the network. After the insurrection, he said he feared that his work at the network helped lead to the January 6 attack on the Capitol when he saw someone there had a flag with the network’s logo.

“I was like, OK, that’s not good,” Golingan said. “That’s what happens when people listen to us.”

As USA Today reported in January, some media analysts have connected rhetoric espoused on conservative networks, including Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax to the actions that took place in Washington on January 6.

At a December 5, 2020, rally about a month before the Capitol riot, Trump showed rallygoers a report from OAN that alleged hundreds of thousands of votes had disappeared in the state of Georgia, which was won by Biden. As USA Today reported, there is no evidence for such a claim.

The network last year doubled down on baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems, even after the company sent a letter threatening to sue it for defamation. But as Insider’s Jacob Shamsian previously reported, the network in January quietly removed articles about election conspiracy theories from its website, including articles about Dominion, Smartmatic, and pro-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Lin Wood.

Herring defended the network’s reporting to The New York Times.

“A review process with multiple checks is in place to ensure that news reporting meets the company’s journalist standards,” Herring said. “And, yes, we’ve had our fair share of mistakes, but we do our best to keep them to a minimum and learn from our missteps.”

Two former employees also interviewed by the Times said they believed the network’s coverage was unbiased. In total, 16 current and former employees told The New York Times they believed the network had aired misleading or outright false information.

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