Fox News anchor Chris Wallace continually grilled House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Sunday over the lawmaker’s refusal to acknowledge that Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election fairly.
Wallace, at one point, even asked the GOP leader if the bogus stolen election rhetoric is undermining “American democracy.”
Appearing on Fox News Sunday to ostensibly rail against the Biden administration’s agenda, Scalise eventually found himself under the microscope for his support of Trump’s continued obsession with baseless conspiracies about widespread voter fraud costing him the election.
“Do you think the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump?” Wallace asked. “And [Trump] continuing to make that charge— not having states do election reforms but specifically making this charge that the election was stolen—do you think that hurts or undermines American democracy?”
Scalise, who voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s election certification and later rallied House Republicans to vote against an independent Jan. 6 commission, grumbled that a number of states “didn't follow their state passed laws that govern the election for president.” After noting that all the states certified their election, Wallace took Scalise’s comments to mean he does not believe the 2020 presidential election was legitimate.
“So you think the election was stolen?” Wallace directly asked the Republican heavyweight.
Refusing to give a straight answer (as is the wont of many Republican leaders seeking to keep favor with Trump on this issue) Scalise instead repeated his claims that some states didn’t follow their own election laws—a supposed constitutional violation. Wallace, undeterred, this time brought up Trump’s latest rally which featured attendees declaring that Joe Biden isn’t the president before once again pressing Scalise on the issue.
“I guess the question is: Do you think the election was stolen or not? Last time, I promise. I understand there are irregularities and things that needed to be fixed,” the veteran anchor continued. “Do you think the election was stolen?”
Once more, Scalise refused to acknowledge that Biden fairly won the election, finally prompting the Fox host to throw in the towel and nix the interview.
During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month, Wallace said he had “purposely” kept GOP lawmakers and officials who have helped spread Trump’s “Big Lie” about the election off of his show, adding that he didn’t “want to gear that crap.”
At the same time, Wallace acknowledged that there were some election denialists he would have to bring on his show because of their positions of power within Congress. “You have to ask them questions,” he admitted.
“But I won’t let them come on without putting them through the wringer,” Wallace told Colbert last month.