Trump loves to make up ridiculous stories about fake voter fraud — but he has nothing to say about a real case of massive election fraud carried out by Republicans in North Carolina.
Despite what Trump says, millions undocumented immigrants did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. Nor did "missing or forged" ballots mysteriously appear to hurt Republicans in Florida's 2018 Senate race. And there was definitely nobody who voted once in 2018, then put on a disguise in order to vote again.
But there was a case of rampant election fraud in 2018 — and it was carried out by Republicans in North Carolina's 9th District congressional race. It was so bad that the state's board of elections declined to certify the results and called for an entirely new election — the first time that's happened in 44 years.
And even though Trump loves talking about fake stories of non-existent voter fraud, he's been deafeningly silent about the one real case of election fraud uncovered in decades. He hasn't issued a single comment about it.
So why isn't Trump talking about such a prominent real, not made-up, case of election fraud?
It's likely because North Carolina's fraud doesn't fit neatly into his attempt to fear-monger and appeal to the GOP base's racist underbelly by making up phony stories about undocumented immigrants and people of color trying to steal elections from Republicans.
Let's take a look at the facts of the North Carolina case:
Republican Mark Harris personally sought out the services of known fraudster and convicted felon McCrae Dowless, who ran an illegal absentee ballot campaign in which he harvested mail-in ballots and even filled in ballots for people — both of which are illegal.
Harris' own son, a lawyer, warned him about hiring Dowless, whom he believed was running an illegal ballot operation. Yet Harris ignored the warnings and hired him anyway.
At a hearing before the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Thursday, under questioning from a lawyer hired by the Democratic candidate in the race, Harris ended up calling for a new election rather than face difficult questions about what he knew about Dowless' operation and when he knew it. Harris claimed that an illness had left him with memory loss, but that the hearing until that point had convinced him a new election was needed to ensure the public trust in the outcome.
Let's make something perfectly clear, though.
The case in North Carolina is not "voter fraud." Voters did nothing wrong here. They were the ones exploited by the GOP-led effort to harvest ballots.
Instead, this is election fraud, in which someone tied to Harris' campaign defrauded voters to try to steal an election.
But that narrative does nothing to help Trump's quest to build support for draconian voter ID laws that disenfranchise voters who don't support Republican candidates.
And so Trump has done everything he can to avoid drawing attention to this case. Instead, he's tweeting about Jussie Smollett, pretending that his wall is already being built, and trying to claim he's been exonerated in the Russia investigation when he most certainly has not.
It's as cynical as it gets.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.