Democrat poised to succeed Pelosi repeatedly denied legitimacy of Trump's 2016 election
Hakeem Jeffries' claims range from stolen election to voter suppression. Will news media treat him same as Republicans?
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the New York Democrat poised to succeed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as his party's leader in the House, has repeatedly denied the legitimacy of Donald Trump's 2016 election.
But his claims of a stolen election and voter suppression have hardly gotten the same treatment as Trump and other Republicans who have raised ballot integrity issues and been endlessly branded as "election deniers."
Jeffries, currently the House Democratic Conference chairman, has tweeted that Trump cheated in the 2016 election and stole two Supreme Court seats.
"LIE (more than any administration in the history of the Republic.) CHEAT (2016 election/Russian Interference). STEAL (one or two Supreme Court seats). When will Republicans put country ahead of party?" he tweeted.
Jeffries' denials of Trump's election date to at least February 2018, when he launched a Twitter broadside against the 45th president.
"The more we learn about the 2016 election, the more ILLEGITIMATE it becomes," Jeffries tweeted from his congressional account four years ago, claiming Russian interference benefited Trump. "America deserves to know whether we have a FAKE president in the Oval Office."
In 2019, even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller had concluded Trump had not colluded with Russia, Jeffries claimed at a congressional hearing that Trump had been put into the the White House "artificially."
"History will never accept you as a legitimate president," Jeffries tweeted from his personal account in 2020, referring to Trump
In March 2021, Jeffries claimed without evidence that Republicans had suppressed votes in prior elections.
"What kind of political party worships at the altar of voter suppression?" he wrote. "A morally bankrupt one."
Though his language is similar to Republicans who are branded "election deniers," Jeffries has not gotten the same negative attention that Trump or Arizona gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake have received.
Joe Concha, the longtime media critic at The Hill newspaper, on Friday noted the media's general silence and questioned whether Jeffries' ascension toward House minority leader might change things.
"Will the media label him an election denier in an effort to be consistent with the same applied to some GOP candidates in the 2022 midterms?" he asked on Twitter.
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday demanded that CNN use an interview this weekend with Jeffries to ask him about his election denialism.
"Heads up @CNNSotu the likely new leader of House Dems- election denier @RepJeffries- is on your show tomorrow. Maybe ask about this," Spicer tweeted, linking to a Republican National Committee compilation of all of Jeffries past comments on Trump's election.
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