- President Donald Trump on Tuesday railed against Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt for saying that there were no incidents of widespread voter fraud in the city in the 2020 presidential election.
- For days, the president has peddled false claims that mail-in votes were manipulated and GOP officials were kept from properly monitoring election workers.
- “If evidence of widespread fraud or evidence of any fraud at all is brought to our attention, we take a look at it and we refer it to law enforcement as we always do in every election,” Schmidt said.
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President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning railed against Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt for saying that there were no verifiable cases of voter fraud in the city in the 2020 presidential election.
On Twitter, Trump blasted the Republican city commissioner, calling him a Republican “RINO,” or Republican in name only, a pejorative reserved for members of the party who aren’t considered to be true conservatives.
“A guy named Al Schmidt, a Philadelphia Commissioner and so-called Republican (RINO), is being used big time by the Fake News Media to explain how honest things were with respect to the Election in Philadelphia,” he tweeted. “He refuses to look at a mountain of corruption & dishonesty. We win!”
Trump was reacting to a television appearance that Schmidt made on CNN’s “New Day,” where the GOP commissioner was interviewed about vote counting procedures in Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania and one of the most Democratic cities in the country. Schmidt’s office is tasked with counting votes in the city and the commissioner said that there was no evidence of fraud.
“If evidence of widespread fraud or evidence of any fraud at all, is brought to our attention, we take a look at it and we refer it to law enforcement as we always do in every election,” Schmidt said. “I have seen the most fantastical things on social media, making completely ridiculous allegations that have no basis in fact at all. I realise a lot of people are happy about this election and a lot of people are not happy about this election. One thing I can’t comprehend is how hungry people are to consume lies and to consume information that is not true.”
He added: “People should be mindful that there are bad actors who are lying to them. And they need to turn to people that they trust and to sources of information that they trust, and not rumours and not nonsense included in lawsuits or anything else like that.”
Philadelphia City Commissioner @Commish_Schmidt (a Republican) says he has not seen any evidence of widespread fraud.
"I have seen the most fantastical things on social media, making completely ridiculous allegations that have no basis in fact at all." pic.twitter.com/w3t3S9akKg
— Alli Hedges Maser (@AllisonLHedges) November 11, 2020
The commissioner’s office has been receiving death threats since the vote counting process begun, something that Schmidt revealed this past Sunday on “60 Minutes.”
“From the inside looking out, it all feels very deranged,” he said on the CBS news program. “At the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes cast by voters. The controversy surrounding it is something I don’t understand.”
Trump has refused to concede and acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect, despite Biden crossing the 270 Electoral College vote threshold for victory and major news outlets declaring Biden the winner. While several leading Republicans, including Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, have congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, most Republicans have parroted the White House’s position by saying that the election isn’t over yet and is pending the outcome of ongoing litigation in key states where the president is currently behind.
The Trump campaign’s lawsuits in Pennsylvania allege that poll watchers were not able to properly monitor oversight of ballot counting. The campaign also hopes to invalidate mail-in ballots that were received after Election Day, despite the three-day extension that was granted to voters by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.