After losing the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden, Trump sought to blame the defeat on widespread voter fraud, claiming he was the rightful winner, despite a lack of credible evidence to back up these claims. These claims motivated those who rioted at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, in a failed attempt to force Congress to block Biden’s Electoral College win.
Trump’s voter fraud claims have also become a major talking point within the Republican Party, as candidates claim the election was stolen in an effort to receive the support of both Trump and his supporters, who continue to make up a majority of the GOP electorate, according to polls.
During an interview on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday, Harris spoke about how these stolen election theories have reverberated across the world and tarnished the nation’s image as being pro-democracy, though she did not call out Trump or MAGA Republicans by name.
Historically, Harris said, “the U.S. has held our head up as a defender and an example of a great democracy,” which has given the country legitimacy to tackle issues including human-rights. Harris condemned the GOP’s rhetoric, which could be sending a troubling signal to other countries, she said.
Harris said that elected officials who refuse to condemn the January 6 “insurrection” and Trump-backed secretary of state candidates who are “election deniers are impacting the way other world leaders view the United States.”
She added that the GOP’s rhetoric surrounding the 2020 presidential election is allowing “people to call into question our commitment to democratic principles.”
“I think what it sends is a signal that causes people to question, ‘Hey; is America still valuing what they talk about?’ Which is the integrity of democracies. Which means protecting rule of law, and the sanctity of these systems—and speaking up when they’re attacked,” the vice president said.
The Biden administration in recent weeks has taken a stronger tone against the GOP’s election fraud claims ahead of this year’s midterm elections. Biden, while delivering a fiery speech on democracy in Philadelphia earlier this month, took a more direct approach in condemning “MAGA Republicans.”
“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution, do not believe in the rule of law. They did not recognize the will of the people and refuse to accept the results of a free election,” he said in the speech, which conservatives criticized for being divisive.
In a Labor Day speech in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, Biden then said: “Democracy is really at stake. You can’t be a democracy when you support violence when you don’t like the outcome of an election. You can’t call yourself a democracy when you don’t, in fact, count the votes that people legitimately cast and count that as where you are. You can’t be a democracy or call yourself one if you continue to do what they’re doing.”
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
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