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CPAC chairman clashes with CNN’s Chris Cuomo over election fraud

Gustaf Kilander
·3-min read
Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., February 29, 2020 (REUTERS)
Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., February 29, 2020 (REUTERS)

CNN’s Chris Cuomo clashed with the chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the choice to allow Donald Trump to speak at the conference, something the anchor argued was a tacit endorsement of the former president’s lies about the election.

Cuomo told Matt Schlapp that Mr Trump "lied about the election being a fraud, and you having him there, and giving him a platform seems to be your acknowledgement of the same".

Mr Schlapp responded: "I'd love you to look at our agenda. We're actually going to spend a lot of time going through what happened in these states."

Cuomo responded: "It was adjudicated. You just don't like that you lost ... You don't like that the Supreme Court refused to see any merit to your claims. You don't like that when you say people voted in places where they didn't live, the numbers were lower than you suggested, and were found unimpressive to the court. You don't like those things. But those things are true."

"I don't. I don't like those things," Mr Schlapp admitted, adding: "But it's still very important that we go back to the idea of legal voting, and people should be legally registered to vote ... I don't think it's very controversial to say that people should vote one time. And when you're in the midst of a pandemic, when 50 per cent of the people voted by mail that you shouldn't be able to vote in two states."

"Yes, but you don't have a significant number of people who voted more than once," Cuomo interjected. He added: "Matt, you're making a straw man argument. It's a boogeyman argument. There is no proof of rampant fraud. Nobody's saying the process is perfect."

He asked if Mr Schlapp really wants "the conservative movement to be made on the back of a lie about the election?"

Mr Schlapp in return admitted that Joe Biden won the election. "Joe Biden is my president, Okay? He won the election. That doesn't mean that there wasn't voter fraud and voter irregularity in the last election. There's a Republican who went to jail for voter fraud in North Carolina ... It can't just be Republicans that commit voter fraud."

Cuomo pointed out that Mr Trump and his allies failed to prove in court that there was substantial voter fraud.

Mr Schlapp said: "You're right. They did. They did fail. But guess what, you know this, you're a good lawyer. Just because you fail in court doesn't mean you don't have a good case. It means you lost in court ... I don't think any voter fraud is acceptable. I actually think we should try to get rid of all of it. You should never be able to vote through the mail in this country without somebody on the other side making sure it was you."

Despite all the complaints coming from conservatives surrounding the integrity of the election, officials appointed by Mr Trump himself have said that the 2020 election was a safe and fair election.

"We have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election," then-Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised," the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a statement in November 2020, adding that the election was “the most secure in American history".

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