Scott, a Donald Trump supporter who voted to overturn the 2020 election result in the former president’s favor, was asked about a recent MSNBC poll that showed that just 22% of Republicans believe President Joe Biden was legitimately elected. “Why is that?” Todd asked.
“I can tell you Joe Biden is the president. We went through the constitutional process that, you know, he was elected,” Scott said. “Now, I do believe there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse,” he added, criticizing Biden on inflation and his withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I understand what you’re saying,” Todd interrupted, “but why ― then you’re part of the 22% that believe he was legitimately elected. Why do four in five Republicans not believe that?”
“You’d have to ask them,” Scott said, not mentioning the fact that Trump and his allies in politics and right-wing media have continuously spread disinformation and doubt about the election and insurrection in the year since the vote.
“I think Joe Biden was elected president,” Scott continued. “I think, but you know, what we’ve got to do right now, we’ve got to figure out how do we start helping these families, because I can tell you what, in D.C., that’s not happening.”
“Senator, I think we both know the reason why that is,” Todd said. “And let me put up something that the former president put out on Oct. 21st. Not, like, six months ago. This is, like, three weeks ago.”
In an Oct. 21 statement, Trump tried to justify the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, saying, “The insurrection took place on November 3rd, Election Day. January 6th was the protest.”
“Is there any part of that statement that you agree with?” Todd asked the senator.
Scott didn’t answer the question and instead pivoted to criticizing Democrats for focusing on Trump and saying that Republicans would win in the 2022 midterms “because we’re going to talk about issues. We’re not going to talk about the last election.”
Trump, whose influence dominates the Republican Party, has continued to talk about and fundraise off the last election.
“But isn’t it, you don’t think it’s a mistake to denounce what the former president is saying as a lie?” Todd asked, adding, “Why hasn’t former President Trump conceded?”
“I think you’d have to ask President Trump,” Scott replied.
After more back and forth on the subject, Todd asked the senator, “You’re not at all concerned that former President Trump is helping to create a false narrative that there’s something wrong with our elections?”
Scott didn’t answer that question and said he was focused on how to win in 2022.