Fox News Host Confronts Scalise on Whether Trump's Election Fraud Claim 'Undermines' Democracy

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace confronted House Minority Whip Representative Steve Scalise over former President Donald Trump's baseless election fraud claim, asking if it "undermines American democracy."

Trump and many of his conservative allies continue to groundlessly allege that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" in favor of President Joe Biden. Despite multiple audits and legal challenges, no evidence has been brought forward substantiating this extraordinary claim.

Wallace pressed Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, on his views relating to the former president's false allegation during a Sunday interview.

"Clearly there were irregularities in the last election. There are irregularities in all elections, but I want to ask you a specific question," Wallace told Scalise. "Do you think the 2020 election was 'stolen' from Donald Trump? And in continuing to make that charge ... do you think that that hurts, undermines American democracy?" he asked.

Chris Wallace and Steve Scalise
In this screenshot, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace confronts GOP House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) over whether he believes the 2020 election was "stolen" as former President Donald Trump continues to baselessly claim, on October 10. Screenshot/Fox News Sunday

Scalise side-stepped the question, claiming that "a number of states" didn't follow local laws governing elections. But Wallace interjected, pointing out that the states "all certified" the election results. The GOP congressman then suggested that the states did not follow the Constitution, saying he hopes "we get back to what the Constitution says."

"So you think the election was stolen?" Wallace again asked.

"What I said is there are states that didn't follow their legislatively set rules," Scalise replied.

Wallace then pointed out that many supporters of the former president have been misled to believe that Biden is not the legitimate president. He pointed to Trump supporters at an Iowa rally on Saturday who said: "Joe Biden is not my president, Donald Trump is my president."

"Do you think the election was stolen or not?" Wallace asked again. "I understand you think there were irregularities, there were things that need to be fixed. Do you think the election was stolen?"

Scalise returned to his same talking point, arguing that some states did not follow their election laws. He then criticized people for opposing election law changes pushed through by Republican legislatures in conservative states.

Newsweek reached out to Scalise's press secretary for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.

More than 140 Republican lawmakers in Congress voted against certifying Biden's Electoral College votes from Pennsylvania and/or Arizona. Scalise, the second-highest-ranking Republican in House leadership, was among those GOP lawmakers.

Trump has rallied his supporters around his false claims about the 2020 election. However, dozens of election challenge lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans rejected the allegations. Meanwhile, audits and recounts in key battleground states—including places where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans—have reaffirmed Biden's victory.

Despite no substantiating evidence to corroborate the allegation, a majority of Republicans appear to believe Trump's claim. Polling released by Yahoo News/YouGov in early August showed two-thirds (66 percent) of GOP voters believe the election was rigged or stolen from Trump. Just 18 percent said Biden won fair and square.