Senior Republican leader Steve Scalise refuses to admit the 2020 election wasn’t ‘stolen’ from Trump

President Donald Trump greets Rep Steve Scalise(L) R-LA upon arrival at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana on January 14, 2019.
President Donald Trump greets Rep Steve Scalise(L) R-LA upon arrival at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana on January 14, 2019.

  • House Minority Whip Steve Scalise refused to say that the election was not “stolen” from Trump.
  • Scalise conceded that Biden is the “legitimate” president.
  • But he baselessly claimed that some key states violated the law in administering the election. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the third highest-ranking Republican, on Sunday refused to admit that the 2020 election wasn’t “stolen” from former President Donald Trump. 

Repeatedly pressed on the issue, the Louisiana lawmaker attempted to have it both ways by eventually conceding that President Joe Biden is a “legitimate” president, but baselessly insisting that a few key states violated the law in their election administration.

Trump and his allies have failed to provide any evidence to support their false claims of widespread voter fraud. In dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits, Republicans have made unsubstantiated claims of double-voting, voting by non-citizens, and votes cast on behalf of dead people – all of which have been rejected by the courts. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, announced in December that the government had not found any evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections.

“Clear this up for me,” ABC News host Jonathan Karl said to Scalise. “Joe Biden won the election. He is the legitimate president of the United States. The election was not stolen, correct?”

“Look, Joe Biden’s the president,” Scalise replied. “There were a few states that did not follow their state laws. That’s really the dispute that you’ve seen continue on.” 

Many Republicans, Scalise included, continue to claim that Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin – four swing states Trump lost – implemented illegal election procedure changes. These tweaks were designed to make voting safer during the COVID-19 pandemic, but GOP lawmakers allege that they allowed for widespread voter fraud.

State officials have repeatedly rejected these claims and condemned the politicians making them, and the Supreme Court threw out a related lawsuit brought by the Texas attorney general. Republicans had lost 59 of 60 lawsuits they brought by January 6, the date that Congress convened to certify the election results and a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an insurrection inspired by the president. 

When Karl pressed Scalise to concede that Biden is “the legitimate president of the United States,” Scalise agreed that “once the electors were counted,” Biden became the legitimate president. But he again refused to say the election wasn’t stolen. 

“Once the electors are counted, yes, he’s the legitimate president,” Scalise said. “But if you’re going to ignore the fact that there were states that did not follow their own … laws, that’s the issue at heart, that millions of people still are not happy with and don’t want to see happen again.” 

Scalise’s comments come just a week before Trump is scheduled to take the stage at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and will reportedly reassert himself as the leader of the Republican party. Scalise said he recently met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago during a fundraising trip to Florida. 

Scalise’s office didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

House Republicans scoff at new security measures in place at the US Capitol less than a week after Trump provoked a violent insurrection

AP lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., center, smiles after joining other freshman Republican House members for a group photo at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

  • A number of House Republicans sparred with Capitol police Tuesday over new security measures that were implemented in the wake of the Capitol siege on January 6.
  • Reporters at the Capitol building saw GOP lawmakers — including Reps. Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, and Steve Scalise — scoffing at the newly installed metal detectors at the US Capitol.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A number of House Republicans are flouting the new security measures put in place at the Capitol building in the wake of a violent insurrection attempt on January 6, according to reporters covering Capitol Hill.

After pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol building last week, Capitol police implemented new safety protocols, including newly installed metal detectors and mask requirements.

Reporters present at the US Capitol on Tuesday night watched GOP lawmakers push past or blatantly walk around metal detectors, as the chamber votes on a resolution to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president and some members of Trump’s cabinet to depose the president.

GOP freshman congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who has engaged with QAnon conspiracy theories, refused to walk through the metal detector and allow Capitol police to search her bag, according to reporter Marc Rod. Boebert was later allowed to enter the chamber; it’s unclear if her bag was searched.

Boebert was on the radar of the DC police after the freshman congresswoman released an ad saying she will “carry my firearm in DC and in Congress.”

Read more: DC police will reach out to a GOP freshman congresswoman who released an ad in which she appeared to walk around the US Capitol with a handgun

“It’s our job in Congress to defend your rights, including your Second Amendment, and that’s exactly what I’m here to do,” Boebert continued in the ad.

Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III said Boebert would be “subjected to the same penalties for everyone else that’s caught on the District of Columbia street carrying a firearm unlawfully.”

HuffPost’s Matt Fuller tweeted that he saw “about 10 Republicans walk around the magnetometer” – among them, GOP Reps. Ralph Norman, Scott Perry, Jeff Duncan, and Steve Stivers, who told Capitol police that he believes metal detectors are unconstitutional.

GOP Reps. Markwayne Mullin and Steve Womack also refused to walk through the metal detectors, CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted, with both Republican lawmakers sparring with Capitol police over the new safety protocol.

Rep. Steve Scalise was photographed by Raju with his arms crossed in front of the magnetometer, calling the new protocol “untenable” because it “impedes the ability of members to come and vote. This is our job.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert walked around the metal detector, Fuller reported, telling police as he passed by: “You can’t stop me; I’m on my way to a vote.”

Aside from those who argued with Capitol police, GOP freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon supporter, complied with the new security measure. She thanked officers for their work while yelling at reporters present in the building, asking them where they were when people “burned the building and looted… do you guys remember that?”

Before entering the chamber, she turned back and said “all the media and all the liars and them, they’re not great.”

Read the original article on Business Insider