George Stephanopoulos, the former press secretary for Bill Clinton turned ABC host, came out of the chute fast when he sat down with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday’s “This Week” political talk show.
“Senator Paul, let me begin with a threshold question for you. This election was not stolen, do you accept that fact?”
Paul most definitely did not accept that fact.
“Well, what I would say is that the debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur, we never had any presentation in court where we actually looked at the evidence. Most of the cases were thrown out for lack of standing, which is a procedural way of not actually hearing the question. There were several states in which the law was changed by the Secretary of State and not the state legislature.”
“To me, those are clearly unconstitutional, and I think there’s still a chance that those actually do finally work their way up to the Supreme Court. Courts traditionally and historically don’t like to hear election questions. But yes. Were there people who voted twice? Were there dead people who voted? Were there illegal aliens who voted? Yes, and we should get to the bottom of it,” Paul said.
“I’ll give you an example. In my state, when we had a Democrat Secretary of State, she refused, even under federal order, to purge the rolls of illegal voters. We got a Republican Secretary of State and he purged the rolls.”
But Stephanopoulos cut in, saying: “I have to stop you there. No election is perfect. But there were 86 challenges filed by President Trump and his allies in court, all were dismissed. Every state certified the results.”
The two talked over each other for half a minute until Stephanopoulos said: “The Department of Justice led by William Barr said there’s no widespread evidence of fraud. Can’t you just say the words, this election –”
Paul broke in to say “no.”
“What I would suggest is that if we want greater confidence in our elections, and 75 percent of Republicans agree with me, is that we do need to look at election integrity, and we need to see if we can restore confidence in the elections,” the senator said.
The two crosstalked again until Paul said: “Hey, George. George. George. Where you make a mistake is that people coming from the liberal side like you, you immediately say everything’s a lie instead of saying there are two sides to everything. Historically what would happen is if said that I thought that there was fraud, you would interview someone else who said there wasn’t. But now you insert yourself in the middle and say that the absolute … fact is that everything that I’m saying is a lie.”
“Hold on a second,” the host said, adding that Trump “said the election was stolen. This election was not stolen. The results were certified in every single state … after count and recounts.”
But Paul said not so. “You’re saying that absolutely it was — you’re saying there was no fraud and it’s all been investigated, and that’s just not true.”
The two again argued about who was saying what, when Paul said: “You say we’re all liars. You just simply say we’re all liars.”
Then Paul got specific.
“In Wisconsin, tens of thousands of absentee votes had only the name on them and no address. Historically those were thrown out, this time they weren’t. They made special accommodations because they said, oh, it’s a pandemic and people forgot what their address was.”
“So they changed the law after the fact. That is wrong, that’s unconstitutional. And I plan on spending the next two years going around state to state and fixing these problems and I won’t be cowed by liberals in the media who say, there’s no evidence here and you’re a liar if you talk about election fraud. No, let’s have an open debate. It’s a free country,” Paul said.
Stephanopoulos said: “There is no widespread evidence of election fraud that overturned that results. That was stated as well by the Department of Justice led by President Trump’s attorney general. In Wisconsin, there were counts and recounts.”
Paul broke in again to say: “It was never studied. Even that’s not true. Even that’s not true. Even that’s not true.”
“There’s been no examination, thorough examination of all the states to see what problems we had and see if they could fix them. Now, let me say to be clear, I voted to certify the state electors because I think it would be wrong for Congress to overturn that.”
“But at the same time, I’m not willing just to sit here and say, oh, everybody on the Republican side is a liar and there is no fraud. No, there were lots of problems and there were secretaries of state who illegally changed the law and that needs to be fixed. And I’m going to work hard to fix it. And I won’t be cowed by people saying, oh, you’re a liar,” Paul said.
“That’s the problem with the media today is they say all Republicans are liars, and everything we say is a lie. There are two sides to every story. Interview somebody on the other side, but don’t insert yourself into the story to say we’re all liars, because we do think there’s some fraud and the election needs to be fixed.”
But Stephanopoulos said, “Sir, there are not — there are not two sides to this story. This has been looked in every single state.”
“Sure there are,” Paul said. “There are two sides to every story. George, you’re forgetting who you are. You’re forgetting who you are as a journalist if you think there’s only one side. You’re inserting yourself into the story to say I’m a liar because I want to look at election fraud and I want to look at secretaries of state who illegally changed the voter laws without the permission of their state legislatures. That is incontrovertible, it happened.”
“And you can’t just sweep it under the rug and say, ‘Oh, nothing to see here, and everybody is a liar and you’re a fool if you bring this up.’ You’re inserting yourself into the story. A journalist would hear both sides and there are two sides of a story,” he said.
Paul also cited another state. “I believe in Pennsylvania, they broke the law, and I believe if that ever will get a real hearing in the Supreme Court, it was denied for standing. It wasn’t actually taken up. If it were taken up, I do believe that the Supreme Court would overrule and say that they did break the law illegally.”
“I asked you a very simple question, was the election stolen or not?” Stephanopoulos said at the end of the fiery exchange.
“I think there was a great deal of evidence of fraud and changing of the election laws illegally. And I think a thorough investigation is warranted,” Paul said.