Some of Trump’s craziest election lies were about voting machines
Below: More than 100 Holocaust deniers have won the GOP primaries so far, and several Holocaust deniers are on the Republican ballot for Nevada secretary of state tonight.
Trump’s aides considered his voting machine particularly dumb
The Main Narrative of Yesterday’s January 6 Hearing was that former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election lies helped spark the January 6 attack on the Capitol and continue to push politics in a dangerous direction.
Not even some Trump campaign and administration officials have bought into his baseless attacks, which have torn the nation apart for nearly two years now. Those officials watched with concern and dismay after the election as the president embraced easily rebuttable conspiracy theories and ignored the evidence, according to video testimony. Some of Trump’s most incredible claims were about voting machines.
Insiders considered claims about Dominion voting machines particularly ridiculous – and damaging
Barr called Trump’s espoused conspiracy theory that Dominion Voting Systems machines were manipulated to overturn votes for Biden “silly” and “disturbing.” He said Trump allies promoted the allegations with “a zero basis.”
Yet despite their absurdity, the false claims have caught fire among Trump supporters – increasing distrust of election machines and election workers.
Barr told Trump the theories didn’t hold water, he said. But in vain.
“[The claims] were done in such a sensational way that they obviously influenced a lot of people,” Barr said. They sparked a widespread belief “that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count and that these machines controlled by someone else actually determined it, which was complete nonsense.”
Dominion conspiracy theories divide Trump officials between believers and skeptics
Trump campaign aide Alex Canon disputed the false claims during a conversation with Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navaro, Cannon told investigators. He also pointed to a report by state and federal officials concluding that the 2020 election was the most secure in history, which was touted by the then Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. [CISA] Director Chris Krebs.
The response: “I believe Mr. Navarro accused me of being a ‘deep state’ agent working with Chris Krebs against the president,” Cannon said.
These Dominion claims also motivated the January 6 protesters.
The hearing ended with a chilling video compilation of protesters on Capitol Hill claiming their votes were stolen by Dominion machines.
- Protester claims Dominion machines software is untrustworthy. “I can’t really trust the software. Dominion software everywhere,” he said.
- Another claimed to have seen a WiFi symbol on her machine while she was voting, suggesting she was connected to the internet. Election officials say voting machines are still kept separate from the public internet — though some election security activists say officials haven’t done enough to ensure such connections are impossible.
Trump allies tried to steer him away from false claims about mail-in voting security
These baseless claims, which Trump made at the height of the pandemic, were essentially a prelude to his post-election claims about hacking and fraud. In fact, postal voting is one of the most secure options, experts say, because it ensures there is a paper record of all ballots.
Democrats typically vote by mail more than Republicans, but Trump campaign officials feared the president’s claims could lower Republican turnout.
Campaign Director Bill Stepien and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) arranged a meeting with Trump to talk him out of the claims — but to no avail.
“The president’s decision was made,” Stepien said.
Trump partially reversed. He argued for mail-in voting in Florida where it’s a more common practice among Republicans – and where the former president himself voted by mail – while continuing to claim without proof that it would lead to fraud elsewhere. .
Zoom out: Trump himself didn’t believe the lies or care at all whether they were true or not.
“There was never any indication of interest in the actual facts,” Trump’s former attorney general said. William P. Barr said in video testimony.
Barr warned that Trump was “detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.”
‘What they were proposing, I thought was crazy,’ said former White House lawyer Eric Herschman said. Learn more about Trump’s inner circle challenging his false campaign claims of Mike DeBonis and Jacqueline Alemany.
The hearing offers the latest evidence that Trump’s misrepresentations on election security were motivated solely by a desire to retain power rather than a genuine concern for election integrity.
The consequences have been disastrous for some of his supporters. “Hundreds of our compatriots have faced criminal charges. Many are serving criminal sentences because they believed what Donald Trump said about the election and they acted on it,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), member of the committee. “They marched on the Capitol at his request, and hundreds of them besieged and invaded the building at the heart of our constitutional republic.”
There are also consequences as we approach the 2022 midterms. They understand:
- Significant deterioration in public confidence in the democratic process
- A New Crop of Insider Election Threats From Officials Who Bought Trump’s Lies
- And a wave of physical and digital threats against election officials
It could get worse as Holocaust deniers run for top office across the country. More than 100 Republicans who contest the 2020 election results have already won primaries, according to an analysis by my colleagues Amy Gardner and Isaac Arnsdorf published this morning. They found:
- Voters endorsed at least 108 candidates for state or federal office who repeated Trump’s false campaign claims
- That number jumps to 149 when it also includes candidates who have campaigned to tighten voting rules or more strictly enforce existing rules despite no evidence of widespread fraud.
- Voters chose 86 House candidates, eight Senate candidates and five gubernatorial candidates who embraced Trump’s denial.
Candidates who bolster 2020 fraud allegations are on the ballot for Nevada’s top campaigner today
One of the leading GOP contenders in the race for Nevada secretary of state is Jim Marchant, Policy“, reports Zach Montellaro. Marchant pushed to empty voting machines in favor of manually counting ballots.
Marchant is not alone: His competitors are also questioning the integrity of the US election, the AP reported. A candidate, Socorro Keenancompared the US elections to places “where they know how to cheat”, and the candidate Richard Scotti said he believed voting machines should not be used because “the data they record in the evening is never the same in the morning”.
GOP candidate rejects dubious election claims. Sparks Councilman Kristopher Dahir took the opposite route, saying he believes he is the ‘only candidate willing to accept the results’ and ‘will work hard to make sure that as a Nevadan there is no reason to wonder on this incredible right that we have.”
A Trump cyber official is on the ballot for tonight’s GOP primaries
Katie Arrington worked on Pentagon cybersecurity efforts during the Trump administration. Today, voters in South Carolina will decide whether Arrington or the incumbent Nancy Mace should win the Republican nomination for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, reports Paul Schwartzman.
Trump has backed Arrington in the race, which is largely about Trump’s grip on the Republican Party and the “sense of integrity in Republican politics,” as Paul writes.
Questions about Arrington’s loss of his security clearance and departure from the Pentagon have become a campaign issue. In a recent debate, Mace said she “wasn’t the one who suspended my top-secret security clearance,” referring to reports that Arrington had her clearance revoked during an investigation into to determine whether she had disclosed classified information. Arrington denies the allegation.
Iranian hacking campaign that included former US ambassador exposed (CyberScoop)
NSA quietly appoints new top lawyer (The Record)
How the DOJ led the fight against malware on your computer (Politico)
Democratic interference in GOP primaries sparks concern over rise of election deniers (Annie Linskey)
Wall Street’s top cop warns against encrypted texts and markets FOMO (Bloomberg)
- The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on threats against election workers Tuesday at 10 a.m.
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing on privacy legislation Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
- FBI Supervisory Special Agent Steve Lampo and special agent Mackenzie Monarko speak at an Arctic Wolf event on cyberattacks in the wake of the war in Ukraine on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
- Carol HouseNational Security Council Director for Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation, speaks at an Atlantic Council event on Cybersecurity Challenges with Central Bank Digital Currencies Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
- Assistant Secretary for Cyber, Infrastructure, Risk and Resilience Iranga Kahangama and Eric MoulinSenior Advisor to the Federal Director of Information Claire Martoranaspeak at a Billington CyberSecurity event Thursday at 8 a.m.
- The Center for Strategic and International Studies is hosting an event on Barriers to Implementing Federal Government Cybersecurity Efforts Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
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