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Romney Calls Trump's Election Fraud Claims 'Dangerous,' Decries Misinformation

Senator Mitt Romney

While Donald Trump and his administration are still disputing the results of the 2020 election, Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney says there’s no question that Joe Biden has been elected president.

Sen. Romney, who was the unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate in 2012 and was elected to his current office in 2018, said there were irregularities in the voting this November, as there are in any year, but not enough to affect the outcome of the race.

He said that was the evaluation of Chris Krebs, the then-head of cybersecurity for the U.S., who has been fired by President Trump, as well as Attorney General William Barr, who has resigned.

The Senator said that Trump’s position can have ramifications for the country’s position in the world.

“It’s clear that the President’s efforts to diminish the validity of the election has a byproduct; a reduction that people have in confidence in democracy,” Romney said. “And that has a high cost for our country, and for people around the world. After all, people look to the United States to be the leader of the free world. And if they think we can’t hold an election, how are they gonna hold it in a Third World country. The President’s claims I find to be very unfortunate, and, frankly, dangerous.” 

He added that the election workers who carried out their duties, while being attacked on all sides, were profiles in courage.

Sen. Romney also said he agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision to spurn a lawsuit challenging the vote of four swing states, which was filed by Texas’ attorney general, and joined by the attorneys general of 17 other states, including Utah’s Sean Reyes. He said that legal challenge was clearly frivolous.

“The idea that one state can challenge another state’s ability to run its own election is counter to the principle of federalism, which my party has long supported, clearly outside any kind of legal bounds, that I think the Supreme Court did what was entirely predictable, including those individuals that were appointed by President Trump,” he said. “They likewise felt that this was a cause of action without merit.”

We asked him about the flak he’s received, as a prominent Republican critic of Donald Trump, representing a state that solidly supported the President. 

Romney said, though, that he learned long ago not to pay attention to letters to the editor or online comment sections.

“I know that’s the nature of our discourse at the lowest level. And I just have to ignore that. And I let other people worry about those things for me. So I don’t put that on the front burner in my daily life.”

We asked Sen. Romney if Congress can do something to avoid the current strife and confusion in future elections.

“I think there will be an examination of what actions we could take that would make it less likely for authoritarian effort by one party or the other to be successful. Most of the efforts I think will have to happen at the state level, because under our constitution, states are responsible for the elections that are held within their borders.”

He said a major challenge, which we don’t quite know how to deal with yet, is that citizens are now being given different realities, different facts and just plain misinformation.

“I mourn the fact, however, that there is not an effort to go to the most reliable sources, sources where, when they make mistakes, they acknowledge they’ve made mistakes, sources where you know who the people are that are making a comment, and you know that they have editors, and you have determined over time whether they’re credible or not. So I think we live in a challenging time, in part because our sources of information are so disparate. And people are inclined to accept as truth, things which oftentimes are untrue. And I would note that foreign entities and malevolent players within our own country are intent on misleading the American people and sowing discord—sometimes for financial gain, sometimes for national-security gains.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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