With her prediction in tatters, McEnany has taken up a new job: Alleging voting irregularities for the Trump-Pence campaign. That dual role — serving as both press secretary and campaign adviser — is in itself an irregularity.
Viewers of Fox News got a close look at McEnany’s aspersions on Monday afternoon during a live look-in on host Neil Cavuto’s daily 4 p.m. show. McEnany, at a news conference in Washington, said there is “one party in America that opposes verifying signatures, citizenship, residency, eligibility. There is only one party in America trying to keep observers out of the count room. And that party, my friends, is the Democrat[ic] Party. You don’t take these positions because you want an honest election. . . . You take these positions because you are welcoming fraud and you are welcoming illegal voting. Our position is clear: We want to protect the franchise of the American people. We want an honest, accurate, lawful count. We want maximum sunlight, we want maximum transparency. We want every legal vote to be counted and we want every illegal vote to be —”
Precisely at that point, Cavuto reached his limit: “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I just think we have to be clear: She’s charging the other side is welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”
As it turned out, McEnany was asked during the question-and-answer session if she knew whether any fraudulent votes had been cast. She responded, “What we are asking for here is patience. [RNC Chair] Ronna [McDaniel] just mentioned to you . . . more than . . . 130 affidavits in Michigan alone. We’re aware of all the reports of thousands of votes in Nevada that were cast by those who were not eligible. . . . The information is publicly available. But what we’re asking for right now is patience.”
McDaniel stepped in to allege that an election-worker whistleblower in Detroit reported that a supervisor had instructed workers to backdate ballots to ensure that they were valid for the state’s count. (A Detroit elections official has denied the backdating charge.) A Detroit municipal employee, according to McDaniel, allegedly witnessed “on a daily basis” the coaching of voters to favor the Biden-Harris ticket.
As The Post has carefully documented, the Trump campaign’s allegations of voter fraud have been a joke. Nevada is a great case in point: Richard Grenell, the former U.S. ambassador to Germany, as well as and other Trump supporters gathered last week for a news conference to press their case that many folks had voted illegally in Clark County, which includes the city of Las Vegas. But, per The Post:
Neither the Trump campaign nor the GOP were named plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit that was eventually filed by Republicans, which presented no evidence that thousands of people had voted improperly.
By then, the allegation had been whittled down drastically. Instead of 10,000 cases, Trump’s allies presented one: a woman named Jill Stokke, who said she was denied the right to vote in person because her mail ballot had been stolen and filled out by someone else.
But, in fact, Stokke’s story was more complicated. Election officials said they had indeed received a mail ballot from her — but the signature matched her own. They had offered her a chance to cancel that mail ballot and vote again if she would sign an affidavit saying the mail ballot had been stolen. She did not.
As we noted last week, Trump and his minions long ago lost the privilege of commanding live airtime on U.S. networks. Cavuto’s quick action recognized as much.
Along with Shepard Smith — the afternoon anchor who left for CNBC after fighting with opinion hosts on Fox News — Cavuto has been one of Fox News’s most vociferous detractors of Trump. “I don’t work for you,” said Cavuto during an episode last year, addressing the president from his show. “My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just cover you.” Described by the Daily Beast as a “Wall Street conservative,” Cavuto has fact-checked the president’s claims about the economy and just generally doesn’t accept his garbage, as do certain hosts in other Fox News slots.
So the unwillingness to idly sit while McEnany tars Democrats as the part of election-rigging wasn’t a radical turn for the afternoon host. It does come, however, at a point when Fox News and Republicans are sorting out a messy future. The entirety of Fox News was on pretty solid ground with the GOP before Trump’s arrival on the political scene: The network’s opinion hosts rooted openly for the party; its “news side” tilted in the same direction, primarily through story selection. That is, Benghazi!
Trump the narcissist, however, couldn’t abide even occasional departures from the sycophancy extended to him by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and the “Fox & Friends” crew. So he blasted folks like Cavuto, Smith and others who dared express criticism alongside the Fox News logo. The Trump team revolted when, on election night, the Fox News decision desk called Arizona for Biden — the first outlet to do so.
Who knows how it’ll all shake out. But if Cavuto’s cutaway from McEnany forces her to think a bit about gathering corroborating evidence before she does her thing at the lectern, we’ll just call that progress.
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