How Trump’s Push to Undo Election Has Divided His Media Allies

President Trump’s final term began Monday with the Republican Party’s disorder – and the president’s media allies also disagreed on how to deal with the crisis sparked by his fantasies of a “rigged” election.

On the Monday episode of Fox News’ normally Trump-friendly morning show “Fox & Friends,” host Brian Kilmeade urged Mr. Trump’s lawyers to produce evidence of fraud. He also warned that the pro-Trump protests scheduled for Washington this week are “the kind of anarchy that by and large works for no one, Republicans or Democrats.” His co-host Steve Doocy noted, “So far we haven’t seen the evidence.”

In the same program, Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee who has announced that she will object if Congress approves the vote on Wednesday’s electoral college, discussed the bomb record of a phone call made on Saturday that President Trump tried to get Brad Raffensperger to do. Georgia’s Secretary of State to defeat to change the state’s vote.

“Brian, one of the things I think everyone said is that that call wasn’t a helpful call,” Ms. Blackburn said. (On another Fox News broadcast, Republican strategist Karl Rove called Mr. Trump’s call “inappropriate”.)

Complicated matter for experts on the right: Acceptance of Mr. Trump’s allegations of a stolen election could stifle Republican turnout in Tuesday’s Georgia runoff election that will determine control of the United States Senate.

But Fox News has also expressed very different views of the President than those of Mr. Rove and the hosts of Fox & Friends. On Sunday night, right-wing brand Mark Levin told viewers of his prime time show on Fox News, “Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are being destroyed by the Democratic Party and the media, and they want to destroy what’s left of it. ”

Throwing a warning to Republican leaders who are not involved in Mr. Trump’s efforts, Mr. Levin mentioned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name and added, “The Republican leadership in the Senate has been extremely pathetic.”

Like the breakaway Republican senators who advocated Mr Trump’s efforts to undermine the election, Mr Levin has stayed in step with Mr Trump’s increasingly far-fetched fraud allegations.

At 9 p.m. on Fox News, Sean Hannity’s program presented viewers with numerous false statements about the 2020 election as it aired unfiltered Mr. Trump’s rally for the Georgia Republican Senate nominee. However, the prime-time venue provided by Mr Hannity was not enough for those in the audience who were aware of the reluctance of some Fox News personalities to support the President’s fraud claims. His mention of the network, almost an hour after his speech, drew the crowd.

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Jan. 4, 2021, 3:39 p.m. ET

Monday’s comment on MSNBC and CNN was, unsurprisingly, slightly different.

John Heilemann, an MSNBC analyst, compared Mr. Trump to a mob boss. On CNN, host Jake Tapper described Mr Trump’s call to Georgian officials as “putting pressure on them, threatening them and suggesting that they could be prosecuted if they couldn’t find” enough votes “for Trump to get the election results in Georgia to change. ” . “He added,” Too many members of the ruling Republican Party are clearly trying to undermine the American experiment of undermining democracy. “

And when Fox News showed the Trump rally at 9 p.m., CNN host Chris Cuomo had a discussion on the slow roll-out of coronavirus vaccines.

Newsmax, the conservative network that has tried to outperform Fox News on the right by fueling Mr. Trump’s conspiracy theories, gave up time on Monday to several guests who vigorously supported the president’s unsubstantiated claims, including Representative Jody B. Hice Georgia and a Trump campaign advisor Steve Cortes.

Republican Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, told Newsmax viewers that there was “massive electoral fraud” and stated that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. “would not be a legitimate president.” He also complained that the judicial system – which has been issuing opinion after opinion at the state and federal level against Mr. Trump’s fraud allegations – has been a “pathetic failure”. Bob Sellers, the Newsmax host who interviews Mr. Brooks, has not pushed his claims back.

Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson claimed Monday afternoon that Mr Trump did not try to get Mr Raffensperger to reverse the Georgia election results during the phone call, but instead used it as some sort of information tour.

“You can hear how passionately the president believes he has won the state,” said Ms. Robinson.

Even so, Newsmax does not protect viewers from the inevitability of Mr Biden’s inauguration, although many voters may object to the drafting. On a segment of the network, anchor John Bachman stated that Mr Biden’s plans for inauguration day would be reduced because of the pandemic; Right-wing commentator Dan O’Donnell, one of Mr. Bachman’s guests, wondered for no reason whether the minor inauguration was due to Mr. Biden’s “decreased mental capacity”.

“That’s a fair question,” said Mr. Bachman.

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