Kentucky Senator Rand Paul repeatedly refused during an interview to acknowledge that the U.S. presidential election wasn’t “stolen” from Donald Trump—and instead lashed out at “the media” for writing off Republicans who made the unfounded fraud claims.
On ABC News’ This Week Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos pressed Paul to acknowledge that “this election was not stolen,” but the GOP senator continued to challenge the legitimacy of Joe Biden‘s presidential victory Sunday morning. He brushed off the 86 legal challenges that were filed by Trump’s allies in court—all of which were dismissed. When a visibly frustrated Stephanopoulos attempted to get Paul to “just say the words ‘this election was not stolen,'” Paul claimed the news media is unfairly framing the election fraud allegations by lumping all Republicans together as “liars.”
“I think you make a mistake,” Paul told Stephanopoulos after being repeatedly asked to acknowledge the November election was not stolen from the now-former president. “Hey, George! Georgie, where you make a mistake is that people coming from the liberal side like you, you immediately say everything’s a lie instead of saying there are two sides to everything. Historically what would happen is if I said I thought there was fraud, you would introduce someone else who said there wasn’t. But now you insert yourself in the middle and say that the absolute fact is that everything I’m saying is a lie.”
Stephanopoulos replied: “Hold on a second. [Trump] said the election was stolen. This election was not stolen. The results were certified in every single state after counts and recounts…There are not two sides to facts.”
Paul said polls show “75 percent of Republicans” agree with him that Americans need “greater confidence in our elections,” and echoed GOP congressional lawmakers’ calls for investigations into so-called election integrity issues. He complained that “the media” believes any claims of voter fraud are “all a lie,” before he accused Stephanopoulos directly of not taking the issue seriously.
“You say we are all liars,” Paul shot back, highlighting how he voted to certify the state Electoral College results unlike several of his Republican Senate colleagues including Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. “You’re just simply saying we’re all liars.”
“I said it was a lie that the election was stolen,” Stephanopoulos reiterated, noting that he doesn’t think every single election problem has been solved across the country.
Democratic Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who appeared on the same program and followed Paul, shook her head at the exchange between him and Stephanopoulos. “As I listened to Rand Paul, George, I just kept thinking, man, this is why Joe Biden won,” she said.
The Kentucky senator later addressed his tense discussion with Stephanopoulos via Twitter later Sunday morning.
“Partisan Democrats in the media think they can get away with just calling Republicans liars because they don’t agree with us. Watch me stand up to one here:” Paul wrote, sharing a YouTube link of his interview with Stephanopoulos.
Paul has used “the media” as a political punching bag many times before, demanding in November 2019 that news publications should be forced to release the identity of anonymous whistleblowers at the center of Trump’s first impeachment proceedings.
Newsweek reached out to Paul’s Senate office for additional remarks Sunday afternoon.