Politics 'He needs to get involved': Trump chief of staff rips FBI director for testimony on voter fraud
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White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday after Wray told a congressional committee that, contrary to President Donald Trump's claims, he has seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
"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," Meadowswhen asked about Wray's statement. He suggested Wray "drill down" on existing voter fraud investigations, such as the nine discarded ballots the Justice Department said it was investigating in Pennsylvania.
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The attorney general's remarks have worried civil rights advocates who fear the Justice Department will selectively enforce voting laws.Barr’s remarks — ranging from the debunked assertion that mail voting fraud is widespread to warning without evidence that foreign countries could possibly counterfeit ballots — are largely baseless, according to election experts and researchers interviewed by NBC News, and echo falsehoods pushed by President Donald Trump. The president has for months denigrated the increased use of mail voting during the coronavirus pandemic despite having voted by mail himself as recently as August.
"Perhaps he needs to get involved on the ground and then he would change his testimony on Capitol Hill," Meadows said.
On Thursday, the FBI director told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, "We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise."
"Your answer is clear: You've not seen any widespread fraud by mail and it's something the FBI watches continuously to make sure that's not happening," said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.
"That's something we would investigate seriously and aggressively," Wray agreed.
While the FBI has seen voter fraud "at the local level, from time to time," Wray said it "would be a major challenge for an adversary" to "change a federal election outcome by mounting that kind of fraud at scale."
The Election That Could Break America
If the vote is close, Donald Trump could easily throw the election into chaos and subvert the result. Who will stop him?There is a cohort of close observers of our presidential elections, scholars and lawyers and political strategists, who find themselves in the uneasy position of intelligence analysts in the months before 9/11. As November 3 approaches, their screens are blinking red, alight with warnings that the political system does not know how to absorb. They see the obvious signs that we all see, but they also know subtle things that most of us do not. Something dangerous has hove into view, and the nation is lurching into its path.
"But people should make no mistake, we're vigilant as to the threat and watching it carefully because we're in uncharted territory," said Wray, who has warned of the dangers posed by foreign election interference efforts and a "steady drumbeat of misinformation."
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— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) on FBI Dir. Christopher Wray saying he's seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud
Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 has prompted many states to expand early voting options, including voting by mail. Trump has railed against that effort for months, claiming, without evidence, that mailed-in ballots are part an effort to rig the election against him. Despite polls that consistently show him trailing the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump has insisted the only way he could lose the election was if it was "stolen."
Recently, Trump has cited his unfounded claims about voting by mail as a reason he might not accept the election results. This week, he sparked bipartisan backlash after taking the unprecedented step ofof power because of his professed concerns about voter fraud.
White House chief of staff contradicts FBI director on voter fraud
Mark Meadows slammed FBI Director Christopher Wray after Wray told Congress there was no evidence of voter fraud."With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there is any kind of voter fraud," Meadows said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" on Friday. Wray had told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that there was no evidence of a "coordinated national voter fraud effort.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
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