An ally of former US President Donald Trump has been grilled in a fiery interview about unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Republican Madison Cawthorn, 25, who is the youngest member of Congress, was speaking with CNN host Pamela Brown on Saturday night after he made claims of “ballot harvesting”.
Before Trump left the White House last week the outgoing president made a number of unfounded claims the US election was rigged.
He also took legal action against a number of states but all the cases were thrown out.
In the interview, Mr Cawthorn was asked why he chose to dispute the results of the election and what evidence was behind his decision.
“The things that I was not objecting to the election on behalf of was things like Dominion voting machines changing ballots, or these U-Haul trucks pulling up filled with ballots for Joe Biden as president,” he said.
“The thing I was objecting for is things like, like I said in the state of Wisconsin, particularly in the town of Madison … there was an appointed official in that town who actually went against the will of the state legislature and created ballot drop boxes, which is basically ballot harvesting that was happening in the parks.”
Ballot harvesting is when a third party collects ballots. It’s legal in a number of US states.
Trump argued against ballot harvesting in the lead-up to and during the election, claiming it would lead to fraud.
Brown pointed out to Mr Cawthorn “this was all litigated”. She asked for “concrete evidence” of fraud.
“You know that the Trump campaign litigated all of this,” she said.
“More than 60 cases and they lost. Either the cases were dismissed or the Trump campaign withdrew or they never brought the case because they didn’t have the evidence to back it up.”
Mr Cawthorn then suggests there was wrongdoing in Wisconsin to which Brown adds three Trump selected judges threw the case out entirely “because of merit”.
“You keep talking about Wisconsin,” she said.
“I’m still not hearing any specific examples of fraud.”
Wow, this did not go well for Madison pic.twitter.com/KHFyLqj4DE
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 24, 2021
She then asked Mr Cawthorn to explain what he has seen.
“When you think of fraud you think of a vote you’re slipping one past the election official or a vote was stolen or somehow it didn’t count,” she said.
Brown asked the Republican if he saw this specifically to which he replied: “No”.
“So you wanted to throw out millions of votes without seeing any concrete evidence of fraud?” Brown said.
“Because that’s what you were doing when you were contesting the election. The intent there was throwing out millions of votes.”
Mr Cawthorn said he disagreed with Brown’s statement and it was not his “intent”, and he was only trying to hold up the Constitution.
“And setting up ballot drop boxes which is essentially ballot harvesting in Wisconsin is unconstitutional because the state legislature said they didn’t want that,” he said.
Brown asked if Mr Cawthorn knows “more than the Trump-appointed judge” and he suggested the ballot boxes were unconstitutional, which they are not.
Battleground states questioned
Brown also asked why Mr Cawthorn was concerned with voting integrity and changes to how people voted in the election in Wisconsin as he represents North Carolina.
In North Carolina, voters were given an extension for casting mail-in votes.
The two were battleground states. Trump edged North Carolina by 1.4 per cent while President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by 0.7 per cent.
Mr Cawthorn said he wasn’t aware of any changes in his state to voting and believes the voting in his state was safe despite there being voter fraud in North Carolina in 2018.
“If you’re so concerned about these rules being changed with the election why wouldn’t you focus on your own home state of North Carolina?” Brown questioned.
“You’re telling me that your concern is about election integrity not politics, not the results of the election, right?”
She finally asked if Mr Cawthorn can finally state the election was not stolen.
“Yes, I think I can say the election was not fraudulent,” he said.
People in awe of ‘cold’ interviewer
On YouTube, people were aghast as to how Mr Cawthorn’s argument was completely derailed.
“Cawthorn's face is redder than his tie throughout the entire interview,” one man wrote.
Another man called Brown “cold” in how she exposed the flaws in Mr Cawthorn’s claims.
“So impressed with her. She did more research for her interview than he did to challenge the results,” one woman wrote.
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