Arizona GOP official rejects Trump claims that he said 2020 election was ‘rigged’: ‘That would not be true’

Arizona elected official denies ex-president’s assertion that he supported his ‘rigged’ election claims

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Tuesday 21 June 2022 18:45
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Arizona’s Republican House Speaker rejected Donald Trump’s assertion that the he claimed the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” against him during his testimony to the the House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol on 6 January, 2021.

“I did have a conversation with the president – that certainly isn’t it,” Rusty Bowers said on 21 June, minutes after the former president claimed that Mr Bowers told him he “won” the state.

“Anywhere, anyone, anytime that said I said the election was rigged, that would not be true,” he said.

The former president lashed out at Mr Bowers before the select committee heard testimony from him and others about a pressure campaign mounted by Mr Trump and his allies in hopes of pushing state officials to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Trump claimed Mr Bowers thanked him for helping his re-election bid in a phone call shortly after the 2020 election, and said the Arizona House speaker agreed with his false belief that the presidential election was stolen from him.

“During the conversation, he told me that the election was rigged and that I won Arizona. He said he got more votes than I did which could never have happened,” Mr Trump said.

Many state and federal Republican candidates received more votes than Mr Trump in the 2020 election. Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson credited this phenomenon to Mr Trump’s divisive personality while speaking to an undercover liberal activist at an August 2021 event.

“There’s nothing obviously skewed about the results,” Mr Johnson said in a video released by activist Lauren Windsor. “If all the Republicans voted for Trump the way they voted for the Assembly candidates, he would have won. He didn’t get 51,000 votes that other Republicans got, and that’s why he lost”.

Mr Bowers is set to testify regarding Mr Trump’s efforts to pressure him to call the Arizona legislature into special session to throw out the then-president’s loss to Mr Biden in the Grand Canyon State, the first victory by a Democrat since Bill Clinton carried the state in 1996.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, Mr Bowers said he will testify about phone conversations he had with Mr Trump and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, in which they asked him to have the GOP-controlled state legislature certify alternate electors for Mr Trump, rather than the ones for Mr Biden selected by Arizona voters.

Mr Bowers refused, and made his refusal public in a statement calling the scheme illegal and unconstitutional.

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