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Rep. Mike Johnson says he ‘never encouraged’ mass voter fraud claimNYT

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Rep. Mike Johnson told The New York Times that he has never supported false allegations of mass voter fraud. But in past interviews he has touted “credible allegations of fraud” and “rigged” voting machines. Johnson has given the GOP a defense to reject the 2020 election that is not based on extreme allegations. Something is loading.

A Louisiana congressman who is responsible for one of Republicans’ inescapable defenses for denying the legitimacy of the 2020 election has said he never backed allegations of mass voter fraud, according to The New York Times. .

In an interview with the newspaper, Rep. Mike Johnson claimed he never supported some of the more extreme voter fraud allegations frequently touted by former President Donald Trump, including allegations of illegal voting or rigged elections.

“I never insisted on any of that,” Johnson told the newspaper. “I’ve never been on that other side, at any time, ever.”

“I was like a lone wolf screaming in the desert, ‘Guys, you don’t have to worry about any of this,'” he said in the interview. “‘They violated the Constitution!'”

But Johnson had previously told a Conservative radio show that there were “credible allegations of fraud and regularity”. The Times also reported that Johnson said he thought there was “a lot of merit” in claiming the voting machines were “rigged”.

The lawmaker has emerged as a key figure after presenting Republicans with a more legal defense for casting doubt on the 2020 election vote without having to consider Trump’s more extreme claims or outright accept the election result, a reported the Times.

Reminding fellow Republicans of his background as a constitutional lawyer, Johnson pointed to what he called a “third option” – opposing how some states have made changes to election procedures that were intended to make it easier to vote. voting during the pandemic, such as changes to early-voting or mail-in voting rules, without obtaining approval from the state legislature.

About three-quarters of the 139 House Republicans who voted to decline the Electoral College count relied on Johnson’s rationale in official statements explaining their decision, The Times reported.

A spokesperson for Johnson did not immediately return a request for comment.

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