Scarborough smears Rand Paul over voter fraud: ‘Why do you want to spread violence across America?’
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough went ballistic on Thursday morning over Kentucky Senator Rand Paul saying Wednesday that voter “fraud happened” in the Nov. 3 election and that “the election in many ways was stolen.” Paul referred to examples of allegations raised in several states.
Paul made the comment during a Senate hearing addressing election irregularities as President Trump continues to challenge the outcome of the race despite President-elect Joe Biden officially winning the Electoral College vote.
“A lot of the laws that have to be confirmed and I think reaffirmed are state laws, so it’s not in our purview,” Paul said, addressing the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. “But the state laws are set, and then we have federal elections. So what we’ve heard about what happened in Wisconsin, what happened in Nevada, I think is absolutely true and we have to prevent it from happening again.”
“I think state legislatures will need to reaffirm that election law can only be changed by a state legislature,” he continued, referring to changes in election laws made in some states by officials rather than lawmakers. For instance in Pennsylvania where universal mail-in voting was implemented ahead of the general election without action from the legislature.
Paul went on to argue, “The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen, and the only way it will be fixed is by in the future reinforcing the laws.”
That set the MSNBC host off. Scarborough highlighted a segment concerning Wednesday’s Senate Homeland Security hearing by attempting to torch Paul for spreading so-called “lies” about the election even though he allegedly knows they are false and what the consequences of those lies are.
“Hello, Rand Paul! Why are you lying to the American people? Why are you purposely inspiring people like the Proud Boys to go around and yell ‘Stop the Steal!’ and beating the hell out of people in the streets?” Scarborough said, his voice rising amid practiced anger.
“Rand, why are you doing that? What, see I don’t get it, what’s in it for you, Rand?” a red-faced Scarborough continued. “To be a liar. To your people. To your constituents! Why do you want to spread violence across America by spreading this lie? Why do you want to undermine American democracy? Why do you want to undermine faith in our system, Rand?”
“Because I’ve got to say, I don’t get it. Because you know it’s a lie!” Scarborough snarled. “You know there’s no widespread voter fraud, and yet you keep stirring the lie up! So I’m just curious, what’s in it for you? Is this a 90-10 issue in Kentucky? No, I think people in Kentucky like American democracy. So who are you playing to? Who is this for? Donald Trump, he’s leaving the White House in a couple of weeks. You can’t go golfing with him anymore.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 16, 2020
The co-hosts proceeded to poke fun at the hearing by comparing committee Chairman Ron Johnson to Anchorman character Brick Tamland. Then Scarborough returned to lambasting Paul, noting “Rand Paul is purposefully undermining American democracy and he’s lying, and he’s seen those court rulings, he’s seen what Trump federal judges have said. You’ve got nothing here. You’ve got nothing, everybody’s saying it. What’s in it for Rand?”
Sen. Paul’s remarks sparked speculation over whether he might be considering challenging the Electoral College votes next month when Congress meets to certify the election for Biden, an action that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in a call earlier this week reportedly urged GOP members not to do.
When asked about the prospect by CNN, Paul replied, “I haven’t thought about it, or made any plans to do anything.” Regarding McConnell’s alleged warning, Paul said, “I wasn’t part of that phone call.”
Asked Rand Paul whether he might object to a state's election results on Jan. 6, and he said: "I haven't thought about it, or made any plans to do anything."
On McConnell urging the conference yesterday not to object, Paul says: "I wasn't part of that phone call."
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 16, 2020
The remarks were notable because Paul is seen as one of the senators who might join a bid by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) to challenge the election’s outcome and overturn the results in several states, despite a series of court decisions that have rejected claims of widespread fraud as unsubstantiated.
Just one GOP senator would need to back Brooks to force the House and Senate to hold debates and vote on the results at a Jan. 6 session.
“To say it was the safest election, sure I agree with your statement if you are referring to foreign intervention, but if you are saying it’s the safest election based on no dead people voted … no people broke the absentee rules, I think that is false and I think that’s what’s upset a lot of people on our side is that they are taking your statement to mean there, oh there were no problems in the election, I don’t think you examined any of the problems we heard here, so really you are just referring to something differently the way I look at it,” Paul said.