Johnson: Trump shouldn’t say election was stolen at debate

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Tuesday said he thinks former President Trump should avoid calling the 2020 presidential election “stolen” during the debate on Thursday.

In an interview slated to air Wednesday night on NewsNation’s “On Balance,” Leland Vittert asked Johnson how he would advise Trump to answer the question, “Who won the last election?” if he’s asked in the first presidential debate this Thursday.

“Well, you know President Trump’s answer,” Johnson said, in a promotional clip of the interview released Wednesday. “He doesn’t think it was fair. He thinks there was a record number of anomalies and probably fraud. And you know, some of those are objective truths.”

“But he shouldn’t say that?” Vittert asked, cutting Johnson off.

“No, he shouldn’t,” Johnson responded. “I mean, what he should say is, ‘Let’s talk about the future, not the past.’”

Trump and President Biden are scheduled to participate in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle on Thursday — in a historic event pitting a current and former president against each other at the earliest point in the cycle since debates began being televised.

Trump has repeatedly pushed false claims that he won the 2020 election and that there was fraud — despite numerous recounts and investigations that found no meaningful evidence of widespread fraud anywhere in the country.

Some Republican pundits have urged the former president not to repeat those false claims on the debate stage – noting voters want to hear about his plans for the country’s future and his critiques of Biden’s term in office. Trump, however, still has not recognized Biden publicly as the rightful winner of the 2020 election.

The interview will air in full on NewsNation at 7 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. NewsNation is owned by the same parent company as The Hill.

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