Rep. Pete King Rebuffs Trump: No, The Election Won’t Be ‘Rigged’

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) emerged as a rare voice of reason Monday morning, when he told radio host Don Imus that “no,” the election wasn’t going to be fixed in Democrats’ favor.

“I think, no, it’s not,” King told Imus, who asked about Donald Trump’s assertion that the election would be “rigged.”

“Is it legally rigged? No it’s not. Whoever wins, wins,” King said, according to audio posted by CNN. “But I do think there’s a lot to what he’s saying, whether it’s conscious or not, of having people in the so-called establishment, whatever that is, the big money people, the media, the political leaders, they are petrified of the thought of Trump being elected. So they consciously and unconsciously just do everything they can.”

It’s a well-worn dodge for some Trump supporters, who insist their candidate actually is referring to negative coverage from the “establishment” media when he makes claims of a “rigged” election.

In a rally in West Palm Beach last week, Trump warned of a “global power structure” hell-bent on keeping him away from the White House, saying “the most powerful weapon deployed by the Clintons is the corporate media: The press. Let’s be clear on one thing, the corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They’re a political special interest, no different than any lobbyist or any other financial entity with a total political agenda.”

Most recently, Trump tweeted Monday morning that “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day.”

Trump has repeated these claims at nearly every one of his campaign rallies in recent weeks.

Elections in the United States are run by states and localities, not the federal government, and the type of fraud Trump alleges would be nearly impossible, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. According to the Washington Post, there were just 31 credible cases of in-person voter fraud out of 1 billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014.

On Sunday, speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, former New York City mayor and Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani justified Trump’s conspiratorial claims by saying that “dead people generally vote for Democrats rather than Republicans.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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