Donald Trump has continued to claim he won the presidential election he indisputably lost to Joe Biden.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said on Tuesday that the media, not Donald Trump, deserves the blame for spreading election falsehoods.
Discussing reports that 79% of Republicans falsely believe that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen," Cramer said the sentiment is so widespread not because Trump is repeating the lies, but because he hears them from his supporters.
"He reflects them, it's not so much the other way around," Cramer said during an appearance on MSNBC.
Pressed by host Hallie Jackson, Cramer accused the media of sowing distrust in the electoral system rather than Trump.
"We can't just let trust of the system be the goal, the goal has to be something worthy of the people's trust," said Cramer. "For the last four years, we've been dealing with a Democratic Party and a lot of national media that have sown a lot of distrust in the last election and the legitimacy of this president."
Trump has been attacking the U.S. electoral system since before he was elected, and even after he won in 2016, he lied about the margin of his victory and falsely dismissed his popular vote loss as due to "illegal" ballots.
From the Nov. 24 edition of "MSNBC Live":
KEVIN CRAMER: I'll say one thing up front that bothered me a little bit about some of Peter [Alexander]'s reporting from the White House, he said that the reason 79% of President Trump's supporters want to continue this is because the president peppers them, and I think that's disrespectful to the people for whom he's the representative. He reflects them, it's not so much the other way around.
So we need to restore trust in the system, but trust in itself is not the goal.
HALLIE JACKSON, MSNBC: I don't know, how can you say that though, Senator?
CRAMER: How can I say what?
JACKSON: I do wonder about that. And I wonder about your view of the long-term impact on this. The president is spreading widespread conspiracy theories about fraud that does not exist. That, I imagine, is sowing distrust, we're seeing it in the numbers already, and I do think it's from the president. These are people, his millions of followers, his millions of supporters, who are listening to him.
Does the president not have an incumbency, an onus on him, to tell the truth? And to say the facts as they exist, as a leader in this country, and don't you?
CRAMER: Well, first of all, Hallie, we haven't seen all of the evidence and that is part of the problem. That we haven't seen that evidence that they claim that they have. We do need to see that.
But he also needs to do it in a way that presents his legal case in the best form, and that's not always on national television.
Now that said, I acknowledge it increasingly looks like its going to be a President Biden, but whether I say it or whether I don't say it, whether Donald Trump says it or doesn’t say it, that's not really the issue. The issue in my mind is, we can't just let trust of the system be the goal, the goal has to be something worthy of the people's trust. And for the last four years, we've been dealing with a Democratic Party and a lot of national media that have sown a lot of distrust in the last election and the legitimacy of this president.
We've got to heal that. I don't think we heal that overnight; I think we have to let this legal system play out. That's the only thing in my mind that will ever satisfy not just President Trump, but the millions of people who support him and want him to fight.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.