White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was unable Thursday to name any river where President Donald Trump claimed ballots had been dumped, one of his many shrill debate diatribes during his Tuesday night debate with challenger Joe Biden.
McEnany then bizarrely slammed reporters for their lack of “curiosity.”
“They [also] found them in creeks,” Trump said of mail-in ballots at the debate, without offering any evidence or even specifying where he was talking about.
Decker asked McEnany: “In this particular statement... who is ‘they’ that found those ballots, and where is this river anywhere in this country?”
McEnany responded: “Local authorities. It was a ditch in Wisconsin” — but she provided no specific location.
“If he misspoke, it happened in a ditch, not a river?” Decker asked.
McEnany shook her head, then insisted: “That’s what the president was referring to.”
Then she lectured Decker on “missing the forest for the trees,” and blamed journalists for their “lack of curiosity” about the problems and “fraud” that Trump keeps insisting will mark the widespread use of mail-in ballots in this year’s voting ― allegations that state election officials of both parties say are baseless.
Decker shot back to McEnany: I’m very curious — where is the river?”
He added: “I cover the news, I like to report accurately in the news, and the president says, ‘They found a lot of ballots in a river’ — I just want to know where the river is.”
As Trump relentlessly attacks the integrity of mail-in ballots (which he himself uses), critics accuse him of sowing mistrust in the process to suppress the vote to give himself a better chance of victory. In the event he loses, they predict, he’ll use the same specious claims to challenge the results.
“What he said [at the debate] was full of misstatements and inaccuracies,” Lawrence Norden, director of the Election Reform Program for the Brennan Center for Justice, told USA Today. “Mail-in ballots are safe and secure. We’ve been voting in some form by mail since the Civil War.
“It’s dangerous to be making these false statements and accusations so close to the election,” Norden added.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress last week that the agency has seen no sign of widespread voter fraud.
The wild exchange between McEnany and Decker sent “Where is the river?” trending on Twitter.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
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