Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) on Wednesday dismissed a heckler who claimed the 2020 election was stolen – a rare instance of a GOP lawmaker pushing back on false election fraud claims even as former President Donald Trump continues to push them.
Bobby Piton, a vocal believer in the QAnon conspiracy movement and a fringe Republican candidate running for U.S. Senate, posted a Youtube video of himself confronting Crenshaw at a GOP fundraiser in Rosemont, Illinois.
Piton expressed belief that a bizarre election audit in Maricopa County, which has come under fire even from GOP officials, would cause Arizona’s electors to “flip” from President Joe Biden to Trump, to which Crenshaw replied, “You’re wrong.”
Crenshaw noted that five pivotal states would have to have their results overturned in order for Trump to have won, telling Piton, “You’re kidding yourself.”
The incident comes as a rare example of a GOP lawmaker openly pushing back against baseless election fraud claims – some, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), have even stoked them.
None have kept the conspiracy alive among Trump supporters more than Trump himself: the former president came out with a statement just today falsely claiming the election was “rigged.”
“Don’t kid yourself into believing that’s why we lost. It’s not. It’s not. I’ll tell you openly,” Crenshaw told Piton, adding that the Maricopa audit “won’t” flip Arizona. “Absolutely not,” Crenshaw said of the suggestion Trump won the election, though he nonetheless suggested there was “a lot of voter fraud.”
Despite his dismissal of Piton, Crenshaw indulged Trump’s efforts to overturn the election on at least one occasion. He signed onto an amicus brief in December supporting a failed Supreme Court lawsuit aimed at invalidating the election results of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia, in effect overturning Biden’s victory. Crenshaw voted against objections to Pennsylvania and Arizona electors in January, however.
66%. That’s the share of Republicans who said they believe the election was “rigged and stolen from Trump” in a Yahoo News/YouGov poll of 1,552 U.S. adults released earlier this month. The survey found that just 18% of Republicans believe Biden won “fair and square.”