Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the number two Republican in the House, still refuses to concede that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen, insisting on Sunday morning that “there were a few states that didn’t follow their state laws.”
Scalise, fresh off his Mar-a-Lago trip to visit with former President Donald Trump, appeared on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday and was eventually pressed about whether he felt the twice-impeached ex-president bore any responsibility for the Jan. 6 insurrectionist Capitol riot.
Airing comments from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy last month denouncing Trump for his role in inciting a mob of MAGA supporters to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election, host Jonathan Karl wondered aloud if Scalise asked Trump if he’d take any responsibility.
“I was in Florida doing some fund-raising throughout a number of parts of Florida, ended up at Mar-a-Lago, the president reached out, we visited,” Scalie deflected. “I hadn’t seen him since he left the White House. It was good to catch up with him. He was a lot more relaxed than his four years in the White House. Still cares a lot about this country and the direction of our country.”
Pressed again by Karl on whether or not Trump should take responsibility for inciting the riot, Scalise went on to say the rioters “need to be held accountable” while simultaneously dismissing the impeachment of Trump for incitement of an insurrection.
“So you’re saying he doesn’t bear responsibility?” Karl pushed back.
“Look, President Trump has denounced what happened,” Scalise shrugged, prompting Karl to note that Trump did not denounce the attack on the day it happened.
Considering that the insurrection was the direct result of the “Big Lie” that the election was “rigged” against Trump, Karl then asked Scalise if he would acknowledge that Biden was the legitimate president and the election was not stolen.
“Look, Joe Biden is the president,” he acknowledged before adding: “There were a few states that didn’t follow their state laws, that’s really the dispute you’ve seen continue on.”
Scalise, who objected to certifying Biden’s election victory on the day of the Capitol riot, was asked once more by Karl whether Biden’s presidency is legitimate and if he’d “concede this election was not stolen.”
“Once the electors are counted, yes, he’s the legitimate president,” the Lousiana lawmaker stated. “Look, you can rehash the election from 2020 all day long, but there are people concerned about what the next election is going to look like.”
“Are we finally gonna back to the way of rule of law works?” Scalise concluded. “And I think that’s the biggest frustration people have. Those states that didn’t follow the law, are they gonna keep doing that in the future or are we gonna get back to what the Constitution calls out for electing our leaders?”
Karl, meanwhile, ended the interview right there, thanking the conservative congressman for coming on his show.