Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) repeatedly pushed back on Politico reporters on Thursday when they asked whether he could unequivocally state that President Biden won the 2020 election.
Politico reporter Ryan Lizza first noted that readers of the news outlet requested that they ask Zeldin their burning question, given Zeldin’s vote against certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory amid pushing former President Trump’s election fraud falsehoods.
“Yeah, Joe Biden’s the president of the United States,” Zeldin said. “And that’s how …”
Lizza interjected to ask Zeldin: “is or won?” Lizza attempted to circle back to his question of whether Zeldin could definitively say that Biden legitimately won the election.
“Yes, and then I went on to continue an answer,” Zeldin said. “If you would like to give my answer for me, you can go ahead and do that. But I thought I was going to be here to answer my own questions.”
The interview grew more tense after Lizza once again asked Zeldin if Biden won the presidency. Zeldin accused Lizza of having an “agenda.”
“You’re asking me now for a third time, and I’ve said yes twice. So, I don’t know how many more times you want me to say yes and what your agenda is,” Zeldin said. “But, really, it’s a bit ridiculous to be asking me a third time. But please, go ahead and ask me again.”
Politico reporter Tara Palmeri jumped in to explain to Zeldin that Lizza was just trying to get clarification on the matter.
A back-and-forth ensued as Zeldin griped over reporters asking him about Biden’s win for the fourth time.
“I wouldn’t call that a question,” Palmeri said.
“You can go for a fifth time next, too,” Zeldin hit back.
“Is every time I speak a question?” Palmeri said, while laughing. “We can keep going.”
Zeldin sarcastically quipped: “Sure, let’s do it a sixth time.”
Zeldin is currently exploring a run for New York governor as embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces backlash and calls to resign over sexual harassment allegations.
We interviewed Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) this morning. But when @playbookdc co-authors @ryanlizza and @tarapalmeri asked him to acknowledge that President Biden fairly won the election, things got a little heated. More in Playbook PM 👉 https://t.co/CxJkDG5KwG pic.twitter.com/ooXN6dM8wc
— POLITICO (@politico) March 18, 2021